Animal Adventure Park: April’s Belly Size Significant, What Happens Post-Birth?

April the giraffe is now more than a month past her original due date. Putting things in perspective, since normal gestation for a giraffe is 15 months, April has been pregnant since 2015.

The anticipation of seeing a giraffe being born live surrounded her original due date of mid-February and the internet has been on fire since. More than a month past her due date, April the giraffe is still an internet sensation.

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The owner of the Animal Adventure Park, Jordan Patch, has been keeping everyone informed of April’s progress as well as providing insights into her pregnancy. Many have wondered if April the giraffe is actually in labor. There has been speculation as to whether she has been having contractions and for how long. Patch has said it is unlikely that April will expose her labor until actual hooves appear.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, April the giraffe will hide signs of her labor. Giraffes in the wild conceal labor for as long as possible. Newborn calves cannot stand or walk for approximately an hour after birth and are vulnerable to animals of prey, such as lions, hyenas, or leopards. Large crocodiles also prey upon small giraffes.

Showing signs of labor or distress would, in the wild, be a billboard to predators. Once April goes into active labor, the birth of April’s baby could last as little as 30 minutes. One key sign to look for is the breaking of April’s water. Unfortunately for fans of April the giraffe who watch live, when April’s water breaks, it could just be a small trickle of liquid that is difficult to see on the giraffe cam.

Giraffe in active labor [Image by MaZiKab /Shutterstock]

Fans of April the giraffe are wondering why, if April is not in labor, the live feed remains up. The Animal Adventure Park, where April calls her home, is currently closed for the winter. Visitors to the zoo this past summer were interested in following along with April’s pregnancy, and the park was flooded with questions about her birth. The Animal Adventure Park felt that putting up a live feed for the fans to watch would be the best way to answer the inquiries about the birth of April’s calf.

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Aside from setting up a live feed for April the giraffe followers to watch, the staff at the zoo posts daily updates on Facebook. The most recent update tells of April’s progress.

“April was notably slower moving this morning at breakfast. Wax caps are still present and her back end swell (as you can see) continues to be significant. Belly growth from last week to this week is still mind blowing – she has to fit a 6′, 150# calf somewhere!”

As previously mentioned, giraffes are professionals at hiding their labor, so how can we tell if April begins having contractions? Jordan Patch explained that he believes there are several signs that people can look for. They include straightening of her neck, a wider stance, and shifting in her hips, as well as the excessive movement of the calf. April the giraffe will also lift her tail when she feels pressure. According to an update posted late last night, April has been lifting her tail quite a bit lately.

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“April continues to be herself – though a bit moody end of the day but the vet reported a happy girl earlier this afternoon. As you can see from the cam, her back end is huge; tail is up, aaaannnddd we wait!”

April the giraffe arrived at the Animal Adventure Park in September of 2015. Although this is her fourth calf, it will be the first giraffe calf born at the zoo. As soon as April is done nursing her baby, the park will relocate the calf to another location. Unfortunately, the Animal Adventure Park will probably not be able to keep the calf at the zoo since incest is a possibility.

The park will, however, keep the video streaming so that people can watch live feedings and the bonding process. The Animal Adventure Park has notified viewers that the giraffe cam will remain up for five days after April gives birth. During this time, a contest will be held to name the calf. Who knows, maybe you will be one of the lucky ones to catch the birth of her calf. To keep an eye on April the giraffe, watch live below.

[Featured Image by Little Honey/Shutterstock]