Internet gives front-row seat to animal births

After weeks of anticipation, April the giraffe has finally given birth at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York. If nothing else, April's pregnancy proved people cannot get enough of baby animals coming into the world.

An HD camera allowed millions to watch April’s every move on a live stream. The audience at a given time often topped 100,000 viewers.

Support for April also poured into her GoFundMe page -- shattering the initial goal of $50,000.

One woman who gave $50 said, "I started watching February 22nd. I have not stopped. My family and friends call me obsessed. First clue was Verizon letting me know my 8 gigs of data was gone.”

Live animal births are big deal on the Internet because of the massive audiences they attract. Two years ago, Animal Planet made a big production of a giraffe birth in Dallas. It was a 10-camera shoot that allowed millions to watch a giraffe named Katie give birth to her calf Kipenzi.

Kipenzi died a few months later after tragically breaking her neck while running around her enclosure -- a devastating loss because so many people had come to know her.

At Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, an eight-year-old giraffe named Tufani is expected to give birth sometime between mid-May and early July. 

Tufani is a first-time mom, but you won’t be able to watch her give birth live. Cameras are set up, but the live stream won't go public until after the calf is born and bonding with its mother.

Zoo officials said a lot can go wrong during a live birth, and they would rather play it safe.

It’s not just animals at zoos getting all the attention. Hatching eagle chicks and their parents are now Internet stars.

In southwest Florida, a bald eagle named Harriet is a webcam veteran, hatching chicks online since 2012. Her latest little one, E-9, recently fell from the nest for the first time as it's learning to fly.

In early March, Liberty and Justice, a pair of bald eagles in Washington, DC, welcomed a little chick into the world. A camera capturing it all in the top of an oak tree 110 feet off the ground.

One thing is certain, we are inspired by the cycle of life. And, because of new and cheaper technology, a front-row seat to each birth and hatch is just a click away.

© 2017 KING-TV


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