Any time a new baby is born, it's always exciting news. But when it's a new baby of an animal that's on the endangered species list, it's even more incredible.
With fewer than 100,000 giraffes estimated to be in the wild, the growing threats to this beautiful species have gone unnoticed by many. Especially with the poaching of elephants and rhinoceros overshadowing the dramatic downfall of the giraffe's overall population. Back in 1985, it was estimated that more than 150,000 giraffes were living in the wild. Now, that number has dropped to around 97,000.
This is one of the reasons why park personnel at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, were so excited to learn that April, one of their female giraffes, was pregnant. With the giraffe's gestation period lasting for 15 months, the anticipation for the baby's birth has been building for more than a year.
To share this event and spread interest in animal conservation, Jordan Park, owner of Animal Adventure, commissioned a live stream feed of the birth. However, that stream sparked controversy on YouTube as animal activists began flagging the stream for "sexual content."
YouTube removed the video for a period of time, but park personnel fought to bring it back up, explaining the intent was to educate more people about this species and bring more attention to the conservation efforts.
Now, the video is back up, available for everyone to watch. And park officials claim the birth could happen at any moment. According to the details they've provided, April is 15 and this is her fourth calf. The calf's father, Oliver, is 5-years-old, and this is his first calf. The new baby is expected to weigh around 150 lbs and be six-feet-tall at birth.
As for the birth itself, it will all happen quickly. Once the front hooves are visible, the baby calf will enter the world within 60 minutes. Park officials also plan to host a naming competition to generate more interest in this new life.
Want to watch this event as it happens? Press play on this video to stream the live feed: