It's March 20, 2017, the first day of spring, and April the giraffe is still pregnant. Since new of her pregnancy was first announced, there has been Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, the first day of spring, and many are wondering if April will have her baby on April Fool's Day.
April is a 15-year-old reticulated giraffe who lives in Harpursville, New York, at the Animal Adventure Park. Owned by Jordan Patch, the park first noticed mating behavior between April and her 5-year-old mate Oliver in October of 2015. Giraffes are pregnant for approximately 15 months, and there has been a great deal of confusion surrounding when April's calf will be born. While there is no exact due date, there is a birthing window, and April is showing signs that active labor could begin this week. You can watch the Animal Adventure Park live cam starring April the giraffe in the video player below.There are several signs that indicate April's active labor is not far off. If you view the photos in the labor updates below, you'll notice two photos of April's udders. The first photo was shared on March 12, and April's udders were small. Compare that photo to the one the Animal Adventure Park shared on March 18 and you'll see a significant change. The comparison is important because giraffes give birth approximately two days after milk fills the udders. Although April is making progress, she needs to shed the wax caps, and at this point, they are still present. While we may not have a due date, fans can observe April's physical changes and behavior to build a timeframe or birthing window.You can read the latest updates regarding April the giraffe and the progression of her labor as shared on Facebook below. The updates are listed in chronological order and include photos of AAP staff, April, and her mate. The official Animal Adventure Park Facebook page shares two updates daily. In addition to updates, they also answer many viewers questions through Facebook live and YouTube chat. It should be noted that when April is in active labor, that means when the calf's hooves are visibly protruding, the AAP will begin live streaming the birth on Facebook. This live stream will be in addition to the YouTube feed and will provide viewers a clearer and better view of the birth.
On Monday morning, March 20, 2017, the AAP shared a photo of Jordan Patch and April's handler Allysa with their update. April and Allysa enjoy an unusual bond and if you watch the cam, you'll frequently see April letting Allysa nuzzle against her and rub her tummy. The photos were taken from World Giraffe Day and show April and Oliver receiving treats. According to the update, April continues to make progress, but there hasn't been a major change to signify active labor is beginning. You can read the full update below.
Warmer weather and April's stomach were the topic of discussion for the Sunday evening, March 19 update. If you look in the picture below, you'll see a visible indent where April's calf is sticking out or pushing against her mother's side. This is a good indication that the baby calf is growing strong and is active. As April's pregnancy progresses, there has been more calf activity and movement. As the AAP team has cleared away Stella's remnants, they are looking forward to warmer weather this spring and letting April and Ollie roam the grounds again.
The Sunday morning update for March 19 revealed that April's wax caps are still in place. As losing the wax caps is a precursor to active labor, many are waiting and hopeful that she will shed them soon. Also discussed was the shape and position of the calf within April's belly. It appears that April is carrying her baby giraffe toward the rear.
The Animal Adventure Park included a nice photo of April and Ollie enjoying carrots at the zoo.
During the March 18 evening update, it was learned that when veterinarian Dr. Tim examined April, her stomach was high and tight. This was in contrast to the way her stomach appeared earlier that morning. Many who watch the live giraffe cam scrutinize April for physical changes that might indicate active labor is beginning. There have been many false alarms, and at this point, it isn't clear if April's belly has dropped. The giraffe calf needs to drop into the birth canal before active labor can begin.
You can see three photos in the Animal Adventure Park update. Two of the photos compare April's stomach size and the third is of her udders. April continues to progress and is moving in the right direction. Fans might not know when active labor will begin, but all signs indicate it should begin soon.
The March 18 morning update included a sweet photo of April nuzzling her belly as if she were speaking to her calf. The update included remarks about April's appetite. This is important and something live-cam viewers are monitoring. Approximately the day before April enters active labor, there may be a noticeable change in her appetite. It is common for giraffes to stop eating and begin taking more fluids before the heavy work of labor begins. Lately, April's appetite has been described as voracious.
April's enrichment feeder is filled with hay, but April loves to toss it up in the air. Unfortunately, this makes a mess but April doesn't care. She engages in the behavior frequently enough that it's referred to as April's hay-showers. Maybe there should be a new saying, "April's hay showers bring May flowers?" On Saint Patrick's Day evening, March 17, 2017, April's update included a photo of her favorite past time. The update didn't reveal any significant changes that would indicate the onset of active labor, but Allysa confirmed the calf is getting stronger and was performing karate.
Many hoped on Friday morning, March 17 that St. Patrick's Day would bring the luck of the Irish and grant April and her live cam viewers with a baby calf. It was not to be, and there were no significant changes in April. The Animal Adventure Park shared a photo of April and Ollie taken on a day so sunny, and it caused the giraffes to squint. You may see that photo below.
The Animal Adventure Park had their hands full on March 16. Storm Stella was wreaking havoc in New York, and at times, many who were watching the live cam thought April was going into active labor. She wasn't, but her vulva had noticeable swelling. Although she didn't deliver a calf in the middle of a blizzard, she did make progress. April's active labor is not far off and soon the birth of her giraffe calf will be streamed live online.
Many who watch April the giraffe via the cam noticed she exhibited strange behavior on Thursday morning, March 16. Early in the morning, April had unusual positioning and stances resulting in a flurry of messages and emails to the Animal Adventure Park staff. She wasn't in labor but simply trying to adjust her large and growing belly to find a comfortable way to rest.
The March 15 evening update came during the aftermath of Storm Stella. The staff who slept at the Animal Adventure Park in order to help should April the giraffe go into labor finally returned home.
The snow prompted the Animal Adventure Park to post a special update on Wednesday, March 15 after the storm interrupted the live cam signal repeatedly.
The evening update for March 14 revealed that April the giraffe was not in active labor. Snow piled up outside, and April enjoyed a nice view from her heated stall. You may see the photo and the full update below.
https://www.facebook.com/AnimalAdventurePark/photos/a.248725055230381.37912.246833958752824/929993057103574/The presence of discharge and a swollen vulva caused many to worry April would go into labor during Storm Stella. It was March 14, and it was the first time many hoped April would hold off and not give birth. She didn't, and the storm came and went. You may read the full update in the post below.
The evening update for March 13 dashed hopes April would go into labor that night. The earlier activity caused many to remain glued to their screens as they watched the live giraffe cam. April did experience a discharge and a swollen vulva, indication active labor is not far off. She did not go into labor. Read the full update below.
On March 13, 2017, live cam viewers were convinced April was going into labor. The cam showed a lot of activity within the giraffe barn, and at one point, Dr. Tim came to the stall to examine April. It was a false alarm, and April was not in active labor. You can read the update below.
The March 12 evening update included a nice photo of April the giraffe on her first day at the park
The March 12 morning update included an important photo of April's udders. They were small and wax caps were present. April must shed the wax caps and produce milk before her calf is born.
On March 11, the Animal Adventure Park shared a photo of April and Ollie with owner Jordan Patch in their update. Patch has displayed great love and care for the giraffes and frequently interacts with the animals and the parks fans.
Are you watching the live giraffe cam? Do you have a difficult time turning away from April's cam for fear you'll miss her birth?
[Featured Image by ArolavaV/Shutterstock]