As lovers of April the giraffe in America patiently wait for April to give birth to her reticulated giraffe calf, a mama giraffe named Orla gave birth to a rare Rothschild’s giraffe calf. The Chester Zoo, located in Chester, England, has welcomed two such giraffe calves in the past four months. A video posted online showing the birth of Orla’s giraffe calf has gained the attention of people here in America who are still waiting for April the giraffe to give birth. Like the Animal Adventure Park in NY, the Chester Zoo has high hopes that the popularity of these births will help to draw attention to a growing need for giraffe conservation.
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The population of giraffes in the wild has reduced by almost 40 percent over the past 30 years. Now on the official list of threatened and endangered species, the giraffe population, worldwide, is vulnerable to extinction. In 1985, there were approximately 163,000 giraffes. That number today has dwindled significantly, with some breeds down to as few as 100 giraffes left in the wild.
In America, the Animal Adventure Park in NY has been a booming voice against this silent extinction. People all over the world have come together to await the birth of April’s giraffe calf. Since the live feed went online in mid-February, the Animal Adventure Park has received hundreds of thousands of viewers at any given time.
The Giraffe Cam on YouTube has allowed viewers to keep a close eye on April the giraffe and her mate Oliver. It has, in fact, become one of the most watched internet live feeds in recent days. Hundreds of thousands of people have been tuning in, at any given moment, to await the birth of April the giraffe’s fourth calf. This calf will make Oliver a first-time dad and will be the first giraffe calf born at Animal Adventure Park. The zoo has been continuously providing viewers with updates on April’s pregnancy status through their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Viewers have literally spent all of March waiting on April. Fortunately, according to this morning’s Facebook update, April’s calf seems to be moving into position. It won’t be much longer now.
“Allysa’s morning report is of significant change in April’s shape. Her body/belly is much less beach balled, as the bulges have streamlined. Perhaps suggesting a new position of calf…we hope for launch sequence!”
In the meantime, all any of us can do is keep an eye on the giraffe cam and wait. April will give birth soon, but only when she is ready to do so.
There was more exciting news last night. Corey, one of April’s giraffe keepers, noted some changes in April’s physical form as well as her behavior. The update that the Animal Adventure Park posted online signified that April is, in fact, having contractions to match the new position of her calf.
“April’s back end has some significant ‘bulging’ occurring. She was very ‘with it’ but then became very distracted and as Corey put it, ‘would have walked right through me.’ Though sounding intimidating; this behavior is what we will see – consistently – when in active labor. She will walk through her strong contractions and push, push, push.”
Giraffes are masters of hiding all signs of labor. It is likely that viewers of the live giraffe cam on YouTube won’t even know when April is in active labor until the front hooves of the calf appear. Once the hooves emerge, the process of birth only takes 30 to 60 minutes. April is known to calve very quickly, so when she does go into active labor, it won’t be long before there is a calf on the ground. You can view April the giraffe streaming live on the YouTube giraffe cam in the video player below, or sign up for a text alert from the Animal Adventure Park at the website aprilthegiraffe.com.
The staff at the Animal Adventure Park has been very informative of April the giraffe’s pregnancy, as well as facts regarding April’s species. April the giraffe is a reticulated giraffe, which is a breed now facing extinction. Like the Chester Zoo in England, Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch believes that the live giraffe cam has helped to bring a voice to what was once a “silent extinction.”
[Featured Image By Paul Gilham/Getty Images]