It’s Tuesday morning, March 21, 2017, and what people want to know is if April the giraffe is in labor. April is a 15-year-old Reticulated giraffe who lives in Harpursville, New York at the Animal Adventure Park (AAP). When the Inquisitr first broke the story of April’s pregnancy, word from owner Jordan Patch was that the birth is an open-ended imminent. As April’s pregnancy has gone on longer than what was first believed, the public has enjoyed the time learning about giraffes, bonding with April and anxiously waiting for signs she will go into active labor. At this point, there is one, definitive sign left to give viewers a clue as to when active labor will begin. April’s udders need to fill with milk. After they do, we can expect active labor to begin within two days, according to the giraffe husbandry manual. You may watch the live cam that streams from April’s giraffe stall at the Animal Adventure Park in the video player below.
You can find our more about April the giraffe’s due date, how the Animal Adventure Park calculates it to determine a birthing window and giraffe conception in the article below.
Find out more about the behavioral and physical changes April the giraffe will experience before entering active labor and giving birth to her calf in the article below.
The Animal Adventure Park provides two daily updates regarding April the giraffe’s condition and her progression towards active labor. Though she has moved at her own pace and is definitely heading towards active labor, there are still several changes she must undergo before we are watching a calf’s hooves hit the ground. April’s belly needs to drop, and her udders need to become milk-filled. Those two changes are the best indicator we have that the baby calf truly is coming imminently. Once active labor begins, be warned. The entire birth could be over within half an hour. Giraffes do not labor for hours upon hours in active labor, and once you see the hooves sticking out of April, it won’t be long before her calf falls to the ground, stands up and is ready to nurse and walk with April. The following are summaries of the Animal Adventure Park morning and evening updates along with the full updates and shared photos.
The Wednesday morning update for March 22, 2017, continued to take a close look at April’s temperament and behavior. Behavioral changes are often a sign that a giraffe will soon enter active labor. For the past few days, April has been described as moody and cranky. Is she ready for active labor or just tired of being pregnant? Fifteen months is a long time.
The Tuesday evening update for March 21, 2017, provided specific details regarding April’s temperament and behavior. Those who watch the live giraffe cam on a regular basis have come to recognize April’s personality. She is extremely affectionate and loving with her handler Allysa Krystyna, and though veterinarian Dr. Tim pacifies April with carrots and treats, she tolerates his pokes and prods exceptionally well. Tuesday was different. April’s mood and temperament were off and many wondered if her attitude could be a precursor to active labor. You may read the full update below and see a beautiful picture of April and Allysa bonding.
The Tuesday morning update for March 21, 2017, included a featured photo of Oliver’s first day at the park. You can see a photo of April’s first day at the park, below in the March 13 morning update. April and Oliver are mates, and as they will both live in the park after their baby calf leaves for a zoo with a breeding program, it’s more than likely they are bonded. Wild giraffes are not like bald eagles or penguins and do not mate for life.
The update included a note regarding April the giraffe’s belly size. A growing belly is the most tell-tale sign of pregnancy, and her belly has grown exponentially since February. Simply comparing photos of April’s belly, such as the ones included below in the March 18 and March 19 updates, with the live cam is enough to visibly see a difference. April’s belly is growing, the baby is kicking, and her udders are changing. Everything is on track, and everyone can rest assured a baby calf is on the way.
The Monday evening update for March 20, 2017, included the report from April’s veterinarian Dr. Tim. He assured the viewers that everything is progressing as it should and pointed out that April is a healthy and happy giraffe. The update also spoke about new enrichment items for April. As many of her enrichment feeders are out of the live cam’s view, some have worried she and Oliver didn’t have any. The Animal Adventure Park is installing new feeders and items and putting them in a location where everyone can see. Hopefully, this will help put a decrease in the frantic emails the AAP receives from worried viewers. Rest assured, Dr. Tim states April is healthy and progressing towards active labor.
On Monday morning, March 20, 2017, the focus of the update was about April’s belly and how the weight had shifted to her backend. There will be a lot of shifting and movement as the baby continues to grow. What is needed is for the belly itself to drop. The calf must descend into the birth canal so that active labor can begin. The photo included in the update is the park’s celebration of World Giraffe Day that is held annually on June 21, 2017. This year, the Animal Adventure Park will celebrate World Giraffe Day on June 18, 2017, with a combined celebration of Father’s Day and World Giraffe Day. They will hold a barbecue. You can find details for the event at the official AAP site.
The Sunday evening, March 19 update began with the caption “Holy Smokes.” It conjured up the image of Batman or Robin examining April’s stomach. The exclamatory remark was attributed to the baby calf visibly sticking a knee or possibly a hoof into April’s side. If you look at the photo below, you can see the indentation of the calf pushing from within. The Animal Adventure Park also discussed melting snow and hoped for warmer weather so that April and Ollie could go outside again. Still, there were no significant changes to indicate active labor was imminent.
The March 19 Sunday morning update revealed no significant changes, and unfortunately, April’s udders did not contain milk. The wax caps were present indicating active labor is still a bit away. April must lose the wax caps, and her udder will fill with milk, possibly becoming engorged so that she will have the nourishment needed for her calf. Without milk and with wax-capped udders, she is not ready for active labor. Included in the update is a nice photo of April and Ollie being fed carrots from a zoo visitor.
The March 18 evening update included comparison photos of April the giraffe’s belly and a photo of her udders. Not only is there a noticeable difference in her belly size, but there is obvious enlargement of her udders. Compare the photo below with the picture of her udders shared in the March 12 update. There has been a bit of confusion regarding April’s belly size and changes. One thing is clear, and that is her belly is growing, the baby is moving, and a calf is coming soon.
The March 18 morning update discussed changes in April’s belly but the big event of the day was the way April slept. She rested her head against her belly and slept that way. It appears April is already bonding with her baby calf. The calf was described as performing cartwheels, but there were no significant changes that indicated labor was soon approaching.
The March 17 evening update described the baby calf as a karate master. Also shared was a photo of April sprinkling hay from her enrichment feeder You can see the hay as it slides down her back onto the giraffe stall floor. This is one of April’s favorite hobbies. See the March 21 update above as the Animal Adventure Park has installed new enrichment feeders for the giraffes. There were no significant changes to indicate active labor.
St. Patrick’s Day March 17 was lucky for the giraffes at the Animal Adventure Park as they survived Storm Stella. It didn’t bring a new calf, however. The cold weather had everyone thinking of warmer, sun-filled days. The AAP shared a photo of April and Ollie taken outdoors on a day so sunny it made the giraffes squint. The update was mid-morning, late afternoon due to AAP staff activities.
The Animal Adventure Park March 16 evening update included several photos of Storm Stella’s aftermath. Due to the snow storm, the day was spent shoveling paths and ensuring the animals were safe and warm. April experienced swelling, and the baby calf continued to move in strength. This was one of the few days that staff and viewers were glad April didn’t go into active labor.
Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch hosted a Facebook Q&A on March 16. You may watch that video below.
The Thursday morning March 16 update addressed some unusual behavior April exhibited at approximately 1:30 a.m. ET. By the morning update, the activity had settled down. The request was made to submit questions that Jordan Patch later answered. You can watch that Q&A session above.
The March 15 evening update provided more information regarding Stella’s aftermath. April’s behavior had caused the Animal Adventure Park staff to fear she might go into labor during the storm. The vet remained on call, and several staff members slept at the park to keep a close watch on April. As they were able to clear away much of the snow and the storm passed, the staff finally went home. April did not go into labor, and everyone was grateful.
The March 15 morning report came with a warning that Storm Stella might disrupt the live cam signal. Their predictions were correct, and the Animal Adventure Park lost the live feed several times during the storm. April and Oliver remained warm indoors, nearly oblivious to the conditions taking place outside their barn stall.
The March 14 evening update confirmed that April the giraffe was at the end of her pregnancy. What that exactly means might be subjective. April showed signs she was nearing active labor. Some of the physical changes she experienced included a growing belly, healthy strong kicks from the calf, discharge from her vulva and pulsing. Still, there was no active labor to begin. But April is definitely on her way.
The March 14 morning update did state that some changes in April’s condition warranted an examination between 4 and 4:30 a.m. ET. She was not in active labor, and the activity subsided.
People were excited when on the evening update for March 13 it was announced that active labor was close. April displayed all the signs, but if there’s anything to be said it’s that April can fake active labor better than any giraffe in history. April even assumed a birthing position causing everyone to believe this was it. It wasn’t. She may have fooled the viewers, but the AAP staff and owner Jordan Patch are on to her. They aren’t calling active labor until they see hooves sticking out.
On March 13, 2017, the Animal Adventure Park issued a special update as it appeared April might have been entering active labor. The changes were so noticeable that viewers were certain she would have the calf during Storm Stela. It was another false alarm; however, the changes are real. April has all the symptoms needed to get active labor going. Once milk comes in and her belly drops, we can expect active labor to begin.
The March 13 morning update included a photo of April on her first day at the park. You may see a photo of Oliver’s first day in the March 21 update.
The March 12 morning update includes a photo of April’s udders. If you compare this photo with the one included in the March 18 evening update, you’ll see that April is getting ready for plenty of milk to fill and feed her newborn calf.
Are you watching the live giraffe cam? Has April inspired you to learn more about giraffes, their conservation, behavior, and characteristics? Are you a fan of the live giraffe cam and do you have plans to visit the Animal Adventure Park?
[Featured Image by ChrisVanLennepPhoto/Shutterstock]