Hello, world! April the giraffe gives birth to calf

WASHINGTON — April’s calf made its grand entrance into the world shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday, to an audience of over 1.2 million people around the world.

The giraffe’s labor started around 8 a.m. and lasted around two hours, typical of a calf birth, according to zoo officials.

The newly cleaned calf took its first wobbling steps within the hour, and could be seen wobbling around the pen by 11 a.m. Zoo officials later confirmed that the calf was male.

Befitting the arrival of a newborn, the zoo’s sponsor, which had been Toys R Us through the giraffe’s labor, switched over to Babies R Us.

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.

Watch video of April and her newborn calf.

For more facts and photos of April the giraffe, click through the gallery.

Welcome, baby giraffe A baby giraffe is called a calf. The newborn will be about six feet tall and weigh around 150 pounds, according to Animal Adventure Park officials. The zoo will hold a contest to name the calf once it is born. (AP photo/Zsolt Czegledi, file)
The Labor Process During the birth, the calf’s front hooves will emerge first, followed by the snout, zoo officials said. Because giraffes usually give birth standing up, the calves fall to the ground from quite a height. The newborn falls head and hooves first to the ground. The impact breaks the amniotic sac, severs the umbilical cord and allows the calf to take its first breaths, according to Animal Planet. The calf will attempt to take its first steps shortly after it is born. (Screenshot of live stream)
The Birth 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. Animal Adventure has not announced a height and weight for April’s calf. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Post Birth After the birth, April will naturally raise the calf. Weaning could take between 6 to ten months or even longer, zoo officials said. 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. (AP Photo/Keystone, Patrick B. Kraemer)
Life Span Giraffes in the wild can live between 10 to 15 years. With human care, giraffes can live between 20 to 27 years on average, according to Animal Planet. (Screenshot of live stream)
(Screenshot of live stream)
(Screenshot of live stream)

Keep up with all things April on the giraffe’s websiteGoFundMe page, apparel lineTwitter feed or Facebook page.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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