Is it possible Animal Adventure Park got April the giraffe’s due date wrong? A zookeeper in England is claiming this might be the case after their own giraffe, Orla, just gave birth to a calf at Chester Zoo.
Express UK reports that the zookeeper was interviewed by Britain’s This Morning and was asked about her thoughts regarding April’s pregnancy and why she hasn’t given birth yet. The reporter was curious as to how April can be in labor for weeks while Orla was in labor for a short time before delivering her baby giraffe.
The keeper suspects that Animal Adventure Park might have gotten April’s due date wrong.
“I’m not too sure about that. Maybe they’ve got their date wrong.”
April the giraffe has shown all the signs indicative that she’s close to giving birth. The vet and caretakers at Animal Adventure Park have reason to believe April is very close, even though they’ve said this for weeks. Her udder has bagged up, and the unborn calf’s position is where it needs to be before the big moment arrives. Additionally, April has lost interest in food several times within the last week and has noticeably been uncomfortable.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) April 6, 2017
According to Animal Adventure Park’s Thursday morning update, April’s belly had shown additional changes.
“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!”
Wednesday night’s update revealed that April has been “distracted,” an indicator of active labor.
“April’s backend has some significant ‘bulging’ occurring. Photo in comments. 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…”
With April seemingly way past her due date, Animal Adventure Park has straight up admitted they have no idea when the 15-year-old reticulated giraffe actually conceived. What they do know is that she and her mate, Oliver, exhibited mating behaviors around October 2015. There’s no way of nailing down an exact due date, but the park first predicted it would’ve been around the February 10, 2017 time frame when they launched the live cam. On a daily basis, there are roughly 175,000 to 240,000 viewers watching April at any given time.
Jordan Patch, the owner of Animal Adventure Park, thought April might have given birth by March 28, but her physical changes made him guesstimate she’d deliver by April 1. The world is still watching April a week on from Patch’s last prediction with nothing substantial changing from the live cam’s point of view. Day and night, April is seen in her stall chewing her cud, eating hay, and visiting with Oliver. Patch has openly given up on making predictions and is waiting like everyone else for April to give birth.
— OnceUponAChildLang. (@OUACLangley) April 3, 2017
Giraffes are masters at hiding their labor, so predators in the wild won’t target their newborns. As the park informed viewers, the only way to tell when April is in active labor is when a hoof is coming out of her back end or her water breaks.
April’s long pregnancy now has other animal experts weighing in, as the zookeeper at Chester Zoo did in her interview. Will there be more of that to come until April’s baby giraffe is born? Her soaring popularity has become a topic of conversation, especially when another animal facility’s giraffe gives birth.
Are you still watching April the giraffe on Animal Adventure Park’s live cam? Do you think that the park might have gotten her due date wrong?
[Featured Image by ChrisVanLennepPhoto/Shutterstock]