Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Chelsea Bailey

It's the birth announcement eager fans have been waiting for: April the giraffe has finally (finally) given birth to a male calf.

More than 1.2 million people tuned in to the Animal Adventure Park Live Stream Saturday morning to help welcome the already beloved calf into the world.

The zoo announced the 15-year-old giraffe was going into labor shortly after 7:00 am ET. Fans who tuned into the live stream watched as April paced back and forth in her enclosure while her mate, Oliver, watched from his space next door.

Related: Giraffe's Could Face 'Silent Extinction,' Conservationists Warn

After a few hours of labor, the new calf fell hoof-and-head first into the world just before 10 a.m.

"His entrance into the world was unnerving to even those of us who have witnessed animal births previously,” said Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch.

The abrupt 6-foot fall helps break the amniotic sac and encourages the baby giraffe to breathe, according to the zoo. Newborn giraffes usually start standing within hours — a feat that helps them avoid predators in nature.

The park plans to hold a naming contest to find a name for the calf, according to a press release.

April the giraffe shot to notoriety in February when her live stream went viral after Youtube briefly removed the post because of protests from animal rights activists. The stream was restored and eventually picked up sponsorship from Toys 'R' Us as the world waited — and waited — to see the giraffe give birth.

Animal Adventure Park is located in Harpursville, New York, and the owners posted daily updates on April's condition and even launched a text-alert service to help keep fans apprised of April's progress.

Fans rejoiced on Twitter after the calf was born. This is the April's fourth calf and her mate, Oliver's first.

According to the zoo, giraffes have evolved to hide their labor from predators and, as a result, it is hard to determine when a female is in labor until the calf's hoof becomes visible. Baby giraffes can weigh up to 150 lbs and are as tall as the average man at birth.

In December, giraffes were listed as a vulnerable species because their population has declined by nearly 40 percent in the last three decades, according to conservationists.