After 15 months of pregnancy, April the giraffe is ready to begin labor. According to the owners of Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, April has been "close" to active labor all week. A short while ago, observed by more than 95,500 people on the live giraffe cam, April the pregnant giraffe walked to the center of her stall, widened her legs, stretched out her long neck, and raised her tail up and to the side. Then…she relieved herself.
One may wonder what this has to do with labor. Those who have kept a close eye on the giraffe cam, observing April and her movements over the last few days, know that these are also signs of active labor. This time she pooped, next time it may be a baby.In a question and answer session on Facebook, park owner Jordan Patch answered questions for nearly nine minutes. Thousands of people listened carefully as he spoke of labor signs that we can look for on the live cam. He mentioned that when April the giraffe is seen stretching out and raising her tail, it is a sign of pressure, whether she is pooping, peeing, or experiencing a much-anticipated contraction. According to Animal Planet, April the giraffe will give birth standing up.
"This means that the baby will fall a total of about six feet. That seems like a long way down, but this is how the amniotic sac breaks and the umbilical cord breaks. Plus, it encourages baby to take her first breath."On Monday, evening keepers and vet checks indicated that there were significant changes in April. The giraffe's hind end was more relaxed and appeared larger. A Facebook statement read, "Motion and pulsing in this area have been noted, and discharge has been observed. Ladies and gentlemen –we are close. We are not confirming active labor, but, will state all physical signs are headed in the right direction."
April's condition remained relatively consistent with Monday's update until very early this morning.
"What a long evening! Many of you were up with us around 1:30 AM EST and the following hours, and witnessed some very interesting behavior that had us on edge. Though, this morning, all has seemed to settle. We will continue to watch and monitor throughout the day."Onlookers were awake and glued to the live cam, watching April in her stall with her back lowered. Her legs and hips were widened. April appeared uncomfortable, as she kept her tail up in the air and off to the side, much like she was earlier this evening before she relieved herself. It appeared that we were about to witness the birth of April's calf, only her baby never came.
The Animal Adventure Park has reassured live cam spectators that the birth of April the giraffe's calf will be filmed live, but when that will be is still unknown and likely to be a surprise. The zoo's owners admitted that the original timeline and due date for April's calf were definitely wrong, and encouraged those keeping an eye on the cam to be patient. Active labor should begin very soon.April the giraffe can be followed at aprilthegiraffe.com, which is "updated as quickly as possible with the newest video link."The zoo has said that they will keep the live stream going until the calf is 5 days old. Allowing viewers a chance to see April and Oliver's baby in all his or her glory is the least they can do for April's dedicated followers. You can watch April the giraffe's cam live in the video player below.
[Featured Image by Valdis Skudre/Shutterstock]