April the pregnant giraffe and her boyfriend, Oliver, have been giving their fans a daily dose of cuteness overload on the YouTube live cam, arranged by the giraffes’ team at Animal Adventure Park to share the live birth of their highly anticipated baby. Now, in the newest update, there’s a chance that the birth could finally occur today. Will the long-necked parents finally welcome the baby into the world within the next day?
The giraffes’ keepers hinted that the full moon just might give the baby that extra push it apparently needs to enter the world, reported NBC New York.
Animal Adventure Park quoted the giraffes’ vet, Dr. Tim, on the progress of the pregnancy.
“We have a happy healthy momma and the waiting game continues.”
Both that “happy” mom (at 15-years-old, she already has three babies) and her 5-year-old beau, Oliver, recently have enjoyed some fun in the sun. Viewers have also watched the romantic giraffes neck, and Oliver keeping watch on the baby bump whenever his girlfriend wanders out into the sun.
When she does go into labor, the baby’s tiny hoofs will emerge first, with the snout next, revealed the zoo. The giraffes’ keepers don’t plan to rush the upbringing, and fans can watch a natural childhood for this baby.
Baby giraffes wean for between six to 10 months, sometimes even longer. However, after the baby is weaned, her keepers will move it to another facility to breed there.
“We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species.”
The labor may last anywhere from just a few hours to a few days, with the baby emerging weighing approximately 150 pounds and six feet tall. After the birth is completed, the baby will be standing and walking in just an hour. The zoo plans to have an online naming competition.
Jordan Patch, the owner of the Animal Adventure Park, is enthusiastic about the decision to set up the giraffes’ YouTube live cam to show the birth.
“She’s a neat species that people are interested in, that’s fostered a lot of the attention,” he said.
“The fact that you’re gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don’t get to see give birth — that’s neat.”
As for specifics on why that YouTube live birth might occur today, the keepers noted that they are eager to “see what the Full Moon brings,” noted the Express.
Pregnancy folklore overflows with tales of women giving birth during the full moon, and scientists have even uncovered some evidence to support that legend. Researchers who studied the birth timings of 400 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows found that the frequency of birth soared during the full moon. Will the lunar effect hold true for the giraffe made famous on YouTube?
Viewers looking for a way to tell that labor has started should keep an eye on April’s tail, giraffe expert Allison Dean told New York Upstate.
Allison, who provides her unusual expertise at the Dallas Zoo, explained why the tail is the signal that the birth has begun. Giraffes in active labor raise their tail up from the base, forming a rounded hump, while the bottom part with the fur tuft hangs down loosely.
And for those who have noticed the giraffes occasionally sticking their tails straight out like arrows, what you’re observing is the act of peeing.
Pregnant giraffes typically begin forming the rounded tail hump just before birth begins, spending much of the day with their tails in that position. They frequently pace as well with their tail raised, noted Dean.
Near the end of pregnancy, the baby typically kicks its way into position. Once the baby has dropped into position, however, Dean said that it usually does not move much because the only way it can move is out into the world during labor.
As for why the pregnancy has lasted beyond the 15-month average, Allison explained that it’s because April has already had three babies. When the baby does emerge, the shoulders are the biggest challenge.
After the shoulders emerge, it typically doesn’t take much longer for the baby to arrive. Giraffes stand up during the labor process. And although that means the baby will drop about 6 feet to the ground, Dean noticed that the giraffes’ pens are padded.
[Featured Image by Michael Probst/AP Images]