BREAKING: April the Giraffe appears to be giving birth - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

April the Giraffe gives birth

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UPDATE: April the giraffe, whose lengthy pregnancy captivated thousands, finally gave birth to a baby calf Saturday at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y.

The baby calf plopped out of its mom around 9:50 a.m. ET. It wiggled on the ground before sitting up. Within an hour of birth, the calf was standing.

Park owner Jordan Patch said staff noticed the 15-year-old reticulated giraffe was in labor about 7:30 a.m. The zoo went live on Facebook about 8 a.m., announcing the development. By that time, two of the calf's hooves were seen sticking out.

About 9:30 a.m., the head appeared, and the calf dropped out a short while later, ending weeks of waiting for many who kept up with April through the zoo's livestream.

"We're going to let Mom and baby do their thing for a little bit," Patch announced on Facebook Live shortly after the birth. "Perfect delivery, perfect fall."

The gender of the baby giraffe was unclear, as park employees did not interrupt the mother and baby in the stall. The zoo said it would provide an update later.

At the time of the birth, about 1.2 million people watched live on YouTube and nearly 750,000 watched from the zoo’s Facebook page. The livestream will remain up for the next five days, Patch said. From there, the zoo will find another way to keep people updated on the calf's development.

Now comes the time to name the baby giraffe. Patch said the public will be able to help choose the calf's name through a monetary vote. Anyone interested in casting a vote for a name can nominate it for $1 on the park's GoFundMe page, which is expected to be launched Saturday. Money raised will be divided between giraffe conservation in the wild, giraffe care at Animal Adventure and and an annual fundraiser named Ava's Little Heroes. Six names will be selected for a social media naming contest.

April had been pregnant for about 16 months. We don't know the size of the calf yet, but  ABC Denver reported the calf would be about 150 pounds and stand 6-feet-tall at birth.

Giraffes give birth while standing up, according to Animal Planet, meaning the calf takes a six-foot, head-first fall to the ground. The channel's FAQ on giraffe births said the fall "breaks the amniotic sac, severs the umbilical cord, and most importantly encourages the calf to take its first breaths."

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HARPURSVILLE, New York (WPVI) --It's been "officially April" for two weeks, and yet, April the giraffe gives birth to her much anticipated baby.

WATCH THE LIVE STREAM: Animal Adventure Park Giraffe Cam

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