April the pregnant giraffe, whose YouTube live stream has turned her fans into giraffe gestation experts, has no idea of her growing fame. However, all that attention combined with her keepers’ expertise can’t seem to predict exactly when this tall-necked animal will actually give birth to the much-longed-for calf. The most recent updates repeatedly have promised that the giraffe will soon produce her baby, but it’s taken so long that some conspiracy theorists think it’s an April Fools Day joke that, just like the giraffe’s baby, got delayed.
Ever since February, when Animal Adventure Park in New York unveiled a live stream on YouTube to let fans watch April the giraffe give birth, the animal has become an Internet sensation, reported UPI.
When the live stream went offline for a short time on Saturday due to an Internet outage, rumors soared that the giraffe’s gestation was en elaborate April Fools’ Day joke. One website had an April Fools’ Day story that declared zoo officials admitted April was a male giraffe named Greg. But the park joined in the humor, with Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch posting a social media update.
“Joke is on us! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for an April Fools baby!”
As for how the real April the giraffe is doing, the park shared that she is “comfortable, confident and continues to keep her composure — better than the rest of us!” When the live stream was resumed, an estimated 150,000 people observed the giraffe gazing thoughtfully at her stablemate.
The Sunday gestation update revealed that Animal Adventure Park keepers have observed some signs that April is almost ready to give birth.
“This morning, keepers report increased discharge, continued lack of interest in food, full udders,” reported the park. “April also continues to be a bit out of character. We continue to watch and wait.”
At this point, Animal Adventure Park’s pregnant giraffe is 15 to 16 months pregnant. And although that would be noteworthy for a human, it’s in line with a giraffe’s typical gestation period of 453 to 464 days, said the experts. Once the labor begins, it’s possible for April to deliver her baby in an hour or even less.
“The neat thing about giraffe labor is that they instinctively hide the labor signs because in the wild, if they were making it very clear they were in labor, every hyena and lion would sit tight and wait for mom to become vulnerable,” commented park owner Jordan Patch.
And now, in the most recent update for April the giraffe, who will be giving birth to her fourth calf, the Animal Adventure Park gestation experts are promising that she’s just about ready to give the world what it wants: A glimpse of her baby calf, reported ClickOn Detroit.
For those concerned about April, the giraffe isn’t overdue, clarified her vet Dr. Tim at the Animal Adventure Park in New York. In his new update, Dr. Tim explained that the pregnancy is at the point where she “just isn’t quite ready to give the world what it wants.”
April the giraffe’s keepers are observing on-going physical and behavioral signs that the birth of her calf is near, revealed the vet in a statement.
“The giraffes did enjoy some outside time today, though April chose to enjoy the sunshine and air from her doorway.”
Also, Dr. Tim emphasized that the giraffe is neither late nor overdue and that he is not worried that she is “taking so long.” April the giraffe is “happy and comfortable,” added the vet.
And for those who want the vet to speed up the pregnancy by inducing her, Dr. Tim said that he would not do so, because “those are human constructs which don’t apply to large wild animals and only endanger the life of April and her calf.” But he also promised that the anticipation would be worth it.
“It will be awesome when the calf arrives… enjoy the show people. Get more popcorn.”
While some continue to watch the live cam intently hoping to be present for the giraffe’s pregnancy to peak, the Animal Adventure Park also is offering real-time alerts.
The updates for April and her baby calf before and after her birth go through the park’s text/SMS alert system and include a one-time charge of $4.99. However, data and messaging rates may apply from mobile carriers.
[Featured Image by Warren Little/Getty Images]