As the world waits for the sight of April the pregnant giraffe giving birth live on YouTube, Animal Adventure Park is revealing what to expect when the baby arrives and how to tell when labor actually begins. In a sign that the famous animal is finally ready to give birth, her diet habits have shifted from qualifying as a picky eater of grain and hay to a pregnant female with a substantial appetite, reported Fox News 8.
April showed signs that she now has “quite an appetite” on Thursday evening, revealed her keepers. With her fans watching the live YouTube cam, the park shared that the surge of hunger indicates that she’s finally ready to give birth.
“We have been told by other parks that mothers will sometimes feast just before the birth.”
As for how the weather might affect the birth of this much-anticipated baby, Animal Adventure Park also revealed that there’s “mild flooding” along the rivers. However, April and her baby (when it arrives) won’t need to worry about boarding an ark, because the park also shared that they’re keeping the giraffes safe.
“Giraffes will remain indoors until conditions are agreeable,” shared her keepers.
For those who want to participate in the naming of the baby after the birth finally takes place, Animal Adventure Park also noted that the naming contest will be shared after the baby arrives to avoid any risk of “jinxing” the process.
To accommodate fans who want updates without needing to stare constantly at the live YouTube cam, a text alert system has been set up.
The text alerts provide updates on April, the baby’s father Oliver, and the birth of the baby via a text/SMS alert system. There is a one-time charge of $4.99, although data and messaging rates may apply from mobile carriers.
Viewers of the live YouTube cam who want to know how to tell when the giraffe is ready to give birth should keep their eyes on her tail, an expert at the Dallas Zoo told New York Upstate.
While some have sought to focus on if she’s having contractions or whether the baby is kicking, giraffe guru Allison Dean revealed that when April is in active labor, viewers will see her tail raise up to form a rounded hump. When she sticks her tail straight out to form an arrow, however, she’s just peeing.
Although giraffes will begin forming the rounded tail hump prior to birth, it’s only when labor is ready to start that the tail stays in that position. Pregnant giraffes also often pace with their tail in that position, another sign that they will begin giving birth, according to Dean.
For those hoping to see the baby kick, Allison also revealed that when giraffes near the end of their pregnancies, the babies do not move as much. They typically have dropped into position, which means that they have no place to go except out into the world. As long as there is significant movement observed, such as forceful kicks, on the YouTube live stream, it’s not yet time to give birth.
However, forceful kicks do show that it’s getting closer to the arrival of the baby, added Dean, because they can signify that the baby is positioning itself. As for why it’s taking so long for the birth to begin, Allison attributed it to April having given birth to three calves previously.
When giraffes are in active labor, the baby’s hooves emerge first. Following that initial phase of birth, one hour to an hour and a half of labor continues, with the knees and heads coming next. Giraffes have the biggest challenge in pushing out the baby’s shoulders, and they give birth standing up.
Viewers of the YouTube live cam during birth will see the baby drop about six feet to the ground. But don’t stress, because Dean commented that the pen appears to be carefully padded to cushion the baby’s fall. The baby will then be able to stand up and start walking in approximately an hour.
As for why baby giraffes start walking so soon after birth, it’s protective. When babies are born in the wild, predators often are waiting to grab the baby. At Animal Adventure Park, however, there’s no such danger, with just the keepers and fans watching on YouTube eager to applaud the birth when it finally takes place.
[Featured Image by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images]