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April the giraffe's newborn calf takes first wobbly steps at New York zoo

Viral giraffe birth
Giraffe gives birth with more than 1 million people watching 01:53

HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. -- April the giraffe’s calf is nursing strongly and his mother is recovering “perfectly,” said officials with Animal Adventure Park on Sunday after a 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 northwest of New York City.

The calf weighs in at 129 pounds and stands 5 feet 9 inches tall.

“April has recovered perfectly and is eating everything in sight!” the team posted on its official Facebook page.

A video posted on their page shows the first steps the calf took in its pen. It has been viewed nearly 510,000 times as of Sunday evening.

Here is a quick clip of some of yesterday's wobbly first steps! Mom and baby had a great day! Baby is strong and well, nursing like a champ. We will be live tomorrow morning on Good Morning America! Monday will also bring the first list of the top ten leading names in the naming contest! Some we expected - others, a surprise! Cast your vote: Also - text alert subscribers can expect some fun photos and video tomorrow afternoon! Subscribe: Thank you all and have a great evening!

Posted by Animal Adventure Park on Sunday, April 16, 2017

Seconds after birth, April tenderly licked her calf, which began to slowly pick his head up from the floor of the pen. About 45 minutes after he was born, he stood on wobbly legs while mom helped keep him steady.

At least 1.2 million people watched the Adventure Park’s YouTube streaming of the event. Zoo owner Jordan Patch said both mom and calf were doing fine.

april giraffe gif
April the Giraffe’s newborn struggles to find its footing shortly after being born during a livestream on YouTube.

Patch called the birth “unnerving” to watch. “Giraffes give birth standing up, which means when the calf is ready to be born, it exits its mother hooves first from six feet off the floor, making for a very exciting event,” he said in a news release.

The newborn is April’s fourth calf but Animal Adventure Park’s first giraffe calf. The proud papa, a 5-year-old giraffe named Oliver, watched from an adjacent pen. This is his first offspring.

A Farmington, New Hampshire, songwriter even posted a music video on YouTube called, “I’m Going Crazy Waiting (For A Giraffe).”

I'm Going Crazy Waiting (For A Giraffe) - Original Song by Ricky Reilly by Ricky Reilly on YouTube

April has her own website and even an apparel line. A GoFundMe fundraiser page that initially set a goal of $50,000 sat at nearly $139,000 by Sunday night. The money will be used for the care of the animals.

A contest will be held to decide on a name for the calf and has its own website as well.

Animal Adventure park is currently closed to the public and will open in mid-May.

The zoo began streaming live footage of April’s pen on Feb. 10, but the feed was briefly banned from YouTube for “nudity and sexual content” two weeks later. It was quickly restored, and has attracted millions of loyal viewers since.

The average giraffe pregnancy lasts about 15 months, the zoo said. The calf was born hooves-first, followed by its snout.

4/16 Morning Update Vet Check and a Thumbs Up This morning the team got hands on with baby to do a full vet check and...

Posted by Animal Adventure Park on Sunday, April 16, 2017
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