5 things to know about April, the internet sensation giraffe, and her new male calf


HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (AP)

HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — April the giraffe’s calf is nursing strongly and his mother is recovering “perfectly,” said officials with Animal Adventure Park on Sunday after a morning veterinarian check with the newborn.

April gave birth to a healthy male calf Saturday at the privately owned Animal Adventure Park before an online audience of more than a million viewers.

The 15-year-old giraffe delivered her calf shortly before 10 a.m. EDT in an enclosed pen at the zoo in Harpursville, a rural upstate village about 130 miles (209 kilometers) northwest of New York City.

The calf weighs in at 129 pounds (58.5 kilograms) and stands 5 feet 9 inches tall (1.75 meters).

Five things to know about her and her newborn.

INTERNET STAR

More than 1.2 million viewers watched the birth in real time, thanks to Animal Adventure’s livestream. The zoo began streaming from April’s enclosure in February. People around the world have been tuning in daily. Animal Adventure’s owner, Jordan Patch, has described the global attention as “overwhelming” for him and his four-member staff, who also care for 200 other animals.

WORTH THE WAIT

Giraffes have one of the longest gestation periods of any animal, about 15 months. Newborn giraffes generally weigh about 150 pounds (68.04 kilograms) and are about 6 feet (1.83 meters) tall at birth.

MAY-DECEMBER MATING

The yet-to-be-named calf is the fourth calf for 15-year-old April. The calf’s father, Oliver, who watched the birth from an adjacent pen, is a first-time father at the age of 5. Male giraffes don’t help raise their young.

GOODBYE AFTER WEANING

The zoo’s owner says the newborn will stay with April until he is weaned, which can take six months or longer. The calf will then move on to another zoo. Animal Adventure says it can’t keep the offspring because that could lead to incestuous mating.

NO VISITORS YET

Animal Adventure is in rural Harpursville, New York. It is currently closed and will open to the public in mid-May. The nearest city is Binghamton, about 15 minutes away.

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