Viewers have been glued to Animal Adventure Park’s YouTube Cam for weeks, each day wondering if they would get lucky enough to witness the birth of April’s baby. Since the Animal Adventure Park in New York began streaming live on YouTube from their barn, April the giraffe and her mate Oliver have become internet famous. Last night, over 130,000 people took part in the nightly live chat session on the YouTube cam. They watched April, who is close to labor now, meander around her stall while they enjoyed the company of other viewers.
Giraffe keepers at the Animal Adventure Park have been keeping everyone updated on their Facebook page with all of the details that cannot be seen live on the YouTube giraffe cam, as well as other tidbits happening around the zoo. The Animal Adventure Park staff has created a family of internet viewers who meet up to chat daily on YouTube while watching the cam.
The keepers at the zoo have spent their days and nights teaching the world about April the giraffe and her pregnancy. There is still one question continuously asked by viewers of the YouTube giraffe cam, which remains largely unanswered. When will April go into active labor and have her baby? The most popular answer given by Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, is “soon.” According to the most recent update, that answer has changed to very soon.
April the giraffe continues to keep viewers of the YouTube giraffe cam on their toes. For the past few days, April has been so “close” to having her baby that anyone watching cannot help but feel sympathy for her, especially when she is seen struggling to just to lay down. The update posted this morning was extremely thrilling, and came close to answering our biggest question.
“We will not confirm active labor, but we do have discharge that would suggest the countdown to calf has begun! Mammary development is on point… We will keep everyone posted throughout the day with developments. Our team and Vet are on standby. We could be hours away or days – so do not stop your day – but certainly don’t stop watching!”
The Animal Adventure Park’s update last night told us that April’s pregnancy is advancing along nicely. April the giraffe’s baby belly can be seen growing right before our eyes on the YouTube live giraffe cam. Her mammary development continued to increase throughout the day yesterday, and the animal keeper report disclosed the following.
“She has been a great sport all day…we are close! Hooves crossed.”
Some of the progression cannot be seen on YouTube since the live giraffe cam cannot see the smaller pregnancy details. April’s udders continue to fill. This is an exciting detail. To put it simply, we are getting so very close to seeing a giraffe calf born live on Animal Adventure Park’s YouTube cam.
“Progression! The udder continues to fill. Giraffes do not ‘bag up’ with a full udder in the sense of a cow, dog, goat, sow. Their udder is very subtle and tucked between the legs. The development occurs, generally, just prior to birthing. Here forward, we are most concerned with this area and will gauge our status from it, until a hoof is waving hello!”
Giraffes are professionals at hiding their labor. It will be very difficult to see the earlier signs of labor on the live YouTube cam. The first major sign of labor is the breaking of April’s water. When her water breaks, it may be a big sploosh or a slow trickle. Because of the angle of the live YouTube cam, viewers will not be able to see a slower trickle clearly.
After April’s water breaks, the next thing that viewers can expect to see is the appearance of the baby’s front hooves. April will give birth standing up. It may be shocking to some viewers of the live YouTube cam to see April’s calf plummet 6 feet to the ground. This is normal and helps the amniotic sac to break. The long fall to the ground will encourage April’s calf to take his or her first breath as it enters into the world. The keeper report gave more information on what to expect when April goes into active labor.
“It could be as quick as 30-60 minutes. Baby will be on average 150# and 6′ tall. Within an hour, we want to see baby on its feet. Yes, baby will stumble, fall, and face plant – but it is all part of the process and we cannot intervene. Once standing, we want baby to nurse within the next 60-120 minutes to get the essential colostrum. Our team will not intervene unless we absolutely have to. You will not see us in the stall, but we are all there waiting.
We will stay live on YouTube throughout the process.”
Those viewing the birthing process live on Animal Adventure Park’s YouTube cam should fully prepare themselves. There is always the possibility that tragedy can strike. Although the staff at the park is prepared for every situation, they have faith that there will be a safe delivery for both April and her calf. You can watch the live cam on YouTube, which is located for your convenience in the video player below.
[Featured Image by Yves Logghe/AP Images]