For every expectant mother who is weary of the attention paid to her blossoming baby bump, April the Giraffe feels for you. And thanks to the Animal Adventure Park live cam on YouTube, this long-necked mother of three (who will soon be the mother of four) is getting much more attention than the average expecting mom. While fans stayed focused on April’s YouTube live cam, Animal Adventure Park has revealed what to expect when the long-awaited baby finally arrives, and a hint of when to watch.
The majority of births happen at dawn for giraffes, noted the zoo. And when the baby is born, the front hooves will emerge first, followed by the snout, reported Metro.
Although it might look scary to see the baby fall what appears to be a long distance, it’s normal. Baby giraffes fall onto the ground as part of the natural birth process, according to the zoo.
Giraffes typically are pregnant for 15 months, but April’s vet Dr. Tim revealed that she has been pregnant for about 17 months. As for the size of her baby, giraffes usually are born already weighing between 100 to 150 pounds. The average height of these babies is six feet.
Fans who are watching the live cam on YouTube at the time of birth won’t have long to wait to see the baby start walking. Baby giraffes usually can start walking between 30 minutes to one hour after they are born.
Nursing is an important phase in the growth process, and baby giraffes must stand so that they can nurse. It usually takes about 10 hours for the baby giraffes to start running and keeping up with the herd.
All that running requires food. After nursing for four months, baby giraffes begin noshing on solid food such as leaves. They continue to nurse during the initial solid food phase, however, and take six to 17 months to be fully weaned.
For those curious about the baby daddy’s role in the birth process, April’s boyfriend Oliver is already housed in a separate pen, and he will remain there, said her keepers. However, the proximity is important.
“[April and her baby daddy] are together simply because to isolate them would cause further stress.”
Although the parents of the much-anticipated baby are “well behaved,” their keepers admitted that April “once tangoed with Oliver in the yard and that was the last time for that.”
Moreover, male giraffes are known for their fondness for fighting, eating, and mating, and those tendencies have motivated keepers to keep Oliver away from his girlfriend so that he doesn’t accidentally hurt her or the soon-to-arrive baby. There also is a concern that Oliver might eat his baby mama’s food, because it contains a special pellet designed for pregnant giraffes.
Male giraffes do not participate in raising the baby. Consequently, when the baby has grown, it will be moved to a different facility. That move also reduces the risk of incestuous mating, which would pose the potential of lowering the changes of surviving.
After the baby is born, information about the gender will be provided for those who pay up, reported CNET.
Animal Adventure Park is providing a text-alert system for the birth and baby news, including the gender, that includes a one-time charge. That fee does not include data and messaging rates. Those who subscribe to the text alert system will learn if the baby is female or male, the staff revealed on Facebook.
“After much discussion, we have decided the initial gender reveal will be made via our text alert system as soon as gender is observed post-birth.”
The subscriptions to the system have been added to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation fund that the zoo is compiling, they noted. More information about the text alert system is available here.
When it comes to naming the baby, Hollywood Life reported that fans will be involved in choosing the name, with that plan and more revealed by Jordan Patch from Animal Adventure Park, in Harpursville, New York.
“We do have a naming contest in the works.”
And that’s not all. Patch also revealed that a “current, possible exclusive deal with a day time talk show” is being planned amid the anticipation for the baby’s arrival.
[Featured Image by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images]