April the giraffe has attracted fans from around the world, all watching the YouTube live cam that Animal Adventure Park set up to feature her romance with her baby daddy Oliver and the birth of their baby. Her pregnant belly has gotten so large, however, that some fans are wondering if the famous long-necked animal might be having twins. The zoo’s Facebook page recently featured a debate among fans about that issue, along with signs that this “big, happy” expecting mom’s birth is close.
For those suspicious that April’s YouTube cam pregnancy is a hoax or a scam, however, the zoo also emphasized that the signs that the baby is almost ready to enter the world show that the giraffe’s baby bump is real, reported NBC New York.
First Sign That Birth Is Soon: Ready To Nurse
The sight of udders ready to provide milk for the baby is a key signal that the birth is near, emphasized the zoo.
“Animals do not develop milk unless supporting a pregnancy…This much development truly suggests calving in the near future.”
The zoo also reported that the pregnant mom is “happy, big and beautiful.”
Second Sign Of Birth Nearing: Pacing
Viewers of the giraffes’ YouTube live cam have watched the animals enjoying the warm weather. The zoo has been opening the door to allow the 15-year-old pregnant mom wander out into the sun, and her keepers and vets view that activity as another positive sign.
The increase in pacing also signifies that labor is near, according to the zoo, which offered a reminder to those viewing who are impatient for the birth to begin.
“Patience is a virtue.”
Third Sign That Birth Is Near: Enormous Baby Bump
The zoo also revealed on Facebook that looking at the giraffes’ YouTube live cam doesn’t reveal just “how large she is.” When some visitors in the zoo industry traveled from out of state to visit the famous mom, they were “shocked” to see the actual size and proportions, shared the zoo.
The supersized baby bump has led to speculation among YouTube cam fans that it houses twins, noted the Express.
“I know twin calves are rare but the size of her belly keeps me in awe,” wrote one Facebook fan. “I guess y’all can’t be sure since you can’t do an ultrasound. Only time will tell…”
While some fans agreed that the increasingly large baby bump could result in twin giraffes, another entered the debate quoting the animal’s vet Dr. Tim.
“Based on Dr. Tim’s exams, he is confident that she is having just one calf,” responded that fan.
Fourth Sign That Birth Is Soon: Discharge And Dampness
The Facebook updates also recently have noticed discharge and dampness from April the giraffe’s back end, additional signs that it’s almost time for the birth to begin.
The discharge and dampness have added to expectations that the birth will begin any day now, but it continues to be suspenseful. Sacramento Zoo’s main hoof-stock keeper, Melissa McCartney, told KCRA that the births of giraffes are a “waiting game.”
Cartney’s expertise stems from 15 years of working with giraffes and supervising the births of 12 baby giraffes. And when it comes to April giving birth to what will be her fourth baby, the animal guru explained that just like with human pregnancies, every mom is different.
“Another thing is we’re kind of really just estimating when a giraffe gets pregnant. And their gestation range is pretty big – 13 to 15 months,” she said.
“Humans can go over their expected due date, they can come a little early. [With] giraffes, it’s a much bigger range.”
Fifth Sign Of Birth: Baby Daddy Oliver loses Interest
And then there’s the daddy, in this case Oliver, whose nuzzling of his baby mom on the YouTube cam has charmed viewers. McCartney revealed that when the dad “stops showing a lot of romantic interest in mom,” that’s another hint.
Oliver entered April’s life after she had welcomed three calves involving at least one other giraffe, reported NBC New York.
She was 13 when they first met, while Oliver was 3-years-old, just “coming of age,” revealed the zoo. Now 5-years-old, Oliver will be a first-time dad, and his interest in romancing his girlfriend has changed recently, noted the giraffes’ keepers.
Rather than show a romantic interest, Oliver recently became aggressive, wanting to “rough house,” said the giraffes’ keepers. Consequently, they had to separate the expecting parents. The type of aggressive behavior that Oliver evidenced is typical of male giraffes during the last phase of pregnancy before labor begins, explained the veterinarians.
[Featured Image by Michael Probst/AP Images]