April the giraffe has been captivating the internet for the past few weeks. The media blew up with stories about the expectant mother, causing rumors to swirl that she’s in labor. According to the crew at Animal Adventure Park, April is not in labor. That hasn’t stopped viewers from watching her every day — and for good reason.
Watching the live cam of the pregnant giraffe is reportedly good for your health. According to a new report via Express UK, watching April the giraffe is a great way to reduce stress and bring a sense of happiness into one’s life. Scientists have uncovered that watching live animal cams or recorded footage can boost one’s happiness and amusement.
Watching animals go about their regular daily lives can also reduce our feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and tiredness. The new study was conducted by BBC with the findings revealed in the Planet Earth 2 series that showed footage of nature that was never-before-seen on film.
In addition, BBC chiefs started the Happiness Project for viewers to share their own feel good clips that capture nature. The realhappinessproject.com website launched on Wednesday, March 8, with key features such as a “happybot.” BBC executive producer Mike Gunton said he hopes that the films on the site will encourage more people to produce even more films and documentaries about nature.
“What excites me about this study is seeing how Planet Earth II connects with people on a deep emotional level. As a film maker, that is very rewarding. We’re always striving to bring our audiences closer to nature and it’s thrilling to see how this can generate such positive emotions and have a powerful impact on our viewer’s mood and wellbeing. I hope that in sparking an appreciation of the natural world Plane Earth II will also encourage people to love and protect the natural world.”
Over the past few weeks, the Animal Adventure Park’s YouTube channel has become one of the most-watched channels on the video site. Millions of users have been clicking in hopes of seeing April give birth live on cam. But, some are growing restless wondering how long they have to wait to see the giraffe give birth.
Vickie Kunter, the Denver Zoo’s assistant curator of hoofed animals, told CBS 4 that giraffe pregnancies are “pretty low-key.” You may not even know when she will go into labor.
“You don’t really notice much except toward the end here when you see the size of her abdomen,” she said.
Other subtle changes include an increased size of the mammary glands, discharge, stomach movement, and visible hooves. The mother giraffe may start doing a funny dance in which she will straighten her neck and show movement in her hips, according to NBC News 12.
The live labor could take as little as 30 minutes or as long as two hours. Giraffes birth while standing up, Animal Planet says, meaning the calf will fall six feet to the ground, head first. This fall “effectively breaks the amniotic sac, severs the umbilical cord, and most importantly encourages the calf to take its first breaths.” Then the mother will clean off the calf before it makes its first steps, according to the channel’s giraffe birthing guide.
Watching April the giraffe can be soothing but sometimes boring. Users can watch other live animal cams on YouTube such as the live kitten cams from The Critter Room and Kitten Academy. For example, foster cat Gaia is “pregnant and inflating,” but it’s not known if she will have a live-streaming birth like April the giraffe plans to. You can always watch recorded videos of giraffes giving birth if you can no longer wait any second.
[Featured Image by Animal Adventure Park/YouTube]