For nearly two months, the Animal Adventure Park in New York has been preparing for April the giraffe's birth live on YouTube. The park admitted that they got the original timeline for the birth incorrect, however, they also noted that this is not unheard of. The Animal Adventure Park started counting days of gestation from the first time April and her mate Oliver "came together." This is a common practice among giraffe breeders. Regardless of how "off" Animal Adventure had April's due date, it is clear from watching the giraffe cam live on YouTube that the pregnant giraffe April will give birth sooner rather than later.
The Animal Adventure Park has been great about updating those who are following along with April the giraffe's birth process. According to an update posted this morning on their Facebook page, April is showing all of the physical signs that they expect to see before going into labor. The only thing that the Animal Adventure Park and a half a million people around the world are waiting for now is a change in behavior.
"Early morning observations indicate no significant changes in physical appearance. As stated in posts prior - we do not expect any further physical change. We are waiting for increased pacing to indicate an active labor situation has begun, in addition to pushing/contractions. So, be watchful of behavioral changes!"
Giraffes tend to pace around and swing their tails while in active labor. The Animal Adventure Park is keeping an eye out for more behaviors like the ones that were witnessed last night.
"Our big girl seems to be moving around quite a bit! That is a good thing! Moms will get very "Pacey" before and during birth....we will see if it is any indication as to what is to come. All else is well."
Unfortunately, there are not many behavioral signs that April the giraffe will give before going into active labor. We will see a few signs of active labor from April on Youtube, such as pacing and the swinging of her tail, but the only true signs that April's baby is on its way is the breaking of water and witnessing the front hooves of the calf exiting from April's hind end.
Giraffes in the wild have mastered hiding all signs of labor until the birth of their calf is imminent. April will instinctively hide her labor as well. This is because the wild is a dangerous place for a birthing giraffe, as well as a brand new calf. Giraffe calves cannot stand for the first hour of their lives, so they are at a high risk to predators waiting in the wings to attack. Since the gestation of a giraffe is 15 months, give or take 60 days, hiding the active labor is their best chance at saving their offspring and as a result preserving their species.
April the giraffe has remained indoors as of late, even though the doors have been opened up for her to venture out. Yesterday afternoon, for the first time since the weather has allowed, April decided to go out for a walk. One look at the photo posted yesterday on the Animal Adventure Park's Instagram says that April the giraffe's birth live on YouTube is imminent.
"April enjoyed yard time today! We have opened her door for weeks and she has only stood in the doorway; but today! - of all days! - she ventured out!"
The weather in Harpursville, New York, where the Animal Adventure Park is located, is supposed to be around 70 degrees with sunny skies today. Maybe another walk around the yard will prompt active labor so that April the giraffe can finally give birth to her long-awaited calf. Those following along can keep a close eye on April the giraffe's birth on Animal Adventure Park's giraffe cam, which is streaming live on YouTube, in the video player below.
April has been pacing around all morning, and although the doors have been opened for quite some time, she has yet to venture outdoors. Perhaps April the giraffe's birth, live on YouTube, will happen today. The Animal Adventure Park will leave the live stream active for five days post birth. This will allow everyone to get a good look at the bonding between mother and child. Anyone who misses the birth of April's calf can rewind the feed up to four hours.
[Featured Image by Nazzu/Shutterstock]