When the Animal Adventure Park in New York first placed a giraffe cam, live streaming on YouTube, in the stall of April the giraffe, it was done as an effort update a select few zoo visitors from the previous season. A handful of people had inquired about whether or not April had given birth. The Animal Adventure Park chose to update visitors on April's pregnancy through the use of one small camera placed in the corner of her stall. The YouTube giraffe cam soon went viral. In an open letter to the Animal Adventure Park, one Facebook user spoke of the phenomenon that April the giraffe has become.
"You had the idea one day to put a camera up so people could watch a giraffe give birth. Your one simple act of putting in that camera has changed the lives of young and old alike. Cancer patients watch from their hospital beds. Classrooms have made it part of their lessons. News stations have interviewed your staff and some have even questioned whether there is a baby. You never thought it would turn into this."April is due to give birth any day, with over 100,000 people watching her live on the giraffe cam at any given moment. The closer she gets to active labor, the more exhilirating watching the live giraffe cam becomes. The Animal Adventure Park updates April's Facebook followers on a daily basis. These updates give almost a half of a million people worldwide a bird's eye view of April the giraffe's pregnancy, along with a healthy understanding of giraffe behaviors. The zoo posted another exciting update to their Facebook page this morning.
"All is well in the Giraffe Barn - doors are open and yard time has already begun! Physical body condition remains the same, comfort level has not changed, behavior is on point."
"For any hoaxers or Fake news stories questioning April and the pregnancy - a quick biology lesson - animals do not develop milk unless supporting a pregnancy. Furthermore - giraffes do not develop large udders like cattle etc, so to see this much development truly suggests calving in the near future."The Animal Adventure Park has been working hard to put a "voice to the silent extinction" of giraffes. As a way to inform the public about giraffes, the zoo has posted daily "giraffe factoids" on their Facebook page and answered a continuous stream of questions from April's followers. The Animal Adventure Park reached out for a sponsor when their giraffe cam on YouTube went viral. Toys R Us has taken on that role and a large portion of the money received goes toward the conservation of giraffes in the wild. A follower of April speaks of the conservation efforts that the Animal Adventure Park has been making.
"You have raised enough money and awareness to help with the conservation of giraffes. We've learned what wax caps are, how old giraffes live, and mostly how sweet they can be. You've educated the world. You've brought joy. You've broken up the day for the lonely, sick, dying, and sad. You've made the world a little nicer place to be all because you put a camera up for the world to see. You never thought it would turn into this.....but we're glad it did."Daily watchers of April the giraffe's live stream on YouTube know that she has been showing contraction behaviors for quite some time. The Animal Adventure Park posted an update this week that spoke of April's physical changes. Their update mentioned that the staff at the animal park does not expect to see any more physical changes. At this point in her pregnancy, everyone is looking for behavioral changes. When active labor begins, we will see April the giraffe begin to pace around her stall, swish her tail excessively, and show signs of "pushing contractions."giraffe cam live stream, cluing us in that April has begun active labor, are the breaking of her water and the calve's hooves making an appearance outside of her hind quarters. April the giraffe will instinctively hide most of her labor symptoms and literally walk, or pace, through the pain. April the giraffe has been seen pacing around her stall at times, but still has not had her calf. You can keep an eye on April the giraffe's live stream on YouTube in the video player below.
The staff members at the Animal Adventure Park reminded us that "patience is a virtue." The giraffe cam on YouTube was not installed to "capture an immediate birth, it was set up to capture a process." We all expected that April the giraffe would have her calf before now, but waiting for active labor to begin is a large part of the miracle of birth.
[Featured Image by The Len/Shutterstock]