April the giraffe just might rank up there with George Clooney’s wife Amal as the most famous pregnant female in the world, thanks to the live YouTube cam that her keepers at Animal Adventure Park have installed in the long-necked animal’s pen. While April is keeping herself entertained by eating, pooping, peeing, and nuzzling with her baby daddy Oliver, fans watching the giraffes are getting impatient to welcome the baby into the world.
In the latest updates, the giraffes’ keepers at Animal Adventure Park revealed new signs that the much-awaited birth on the YouTube live cam is near and also answered questions on Facebook, reported NBC New York.
As for precisely when she will give birth, it’s tricky when it comes to giraffes, explained the park.
“There’s a lot of guessing involved and that’s why nobody can pinpoint it,” pointed out one of the keepers.
“Remember in a pregnancy with a giraffe you can go 13 months, 14, 15, 16 months long.”
However, although the zoo previously offered up a prediction that had many fans hoping to see the baby arrive in late March or even April 1, now Animal Adventure Park is clarifying the date on which they estimate the famous giraffes conceived.
“In nature you don’t always conceive every time you connect, which is the case here,” said the zoo. “Realistically they probably did conceive and connect sometime in December. That would be much more normal and puts us in the time frame we are in now.”
New signs that the live birth will occur soon on the YouTube cam include “light discharge” and a change in April’s appetite, revealed the giraffes’ keepers. In addition, the pregnant mom (she has given birth to three calves already) showed a distinct change in her behavior on Thursday, according to Animal Adventure Park.
Keepers noticed that April seemed “out of it,” observing her “distracted behavior versus her normal inquisitive, treat-begging self.” But what hasn’t changed is that enormous baby bulge, along with “significant movement” inside that baby bump that’s the little giraffe preparing to emerge into the world. Animal Adventure Park issued a reminder via Facebook to be patient and “enjoy” the experience of the pregnancy and eventual birth.
“We tuned you guys in with a giraffe cam to enjoy the process, not to watch an immediate result,” said the zoo.
“Enjoy what’s happening and eventually we will all be rewarded with a pretty significant and miraculous thing to witness.”
Those watching the YouTube live cam early Friday morning viewed the pregnant mom positioning herself and her enormous baby bulge so that she directly faced the camera. Some speculated that she wanted her fans to understand the challenges of pacing around with a 150-pound, six-feet-tall baby while the world is watching.
For those skeptics who think that the promise of a YouTube live birth is just fake news, Animal Adventure Park turned to Facebook to provide a biology lesson about the signs that she is ready to welcome her baby.
“Animals do not develop milk unless supporting a pregnancy,” stated the park.
“Giraffes do not develop large udders like cattle etc., so to see this much development truly suggests calving in the near future.”
And although her keepers admitted that they “did expect a calf sooner than this,” they emphasized that the waiting game “is all part of the journey.”
While fans are staying focused on the YouTube live cam, a zoo guru revealed exactly what to expect just before the baby emerges. Allison Dean, an expert in giraffes at the Dallas Zoo, told New York Upstate that viewers should keep their eyes on the pregnant mom’s tail.
When female giraffes are in active labor, their tails raise up to form a rounded hump. The bottom part of the tail that contains the tuft of fur hangs down. In contrast, when giraffes pee, their tails stick out to form an arrow shape, noted Dean.
Although giraffes begin forming the tell-tale rounded tail hump sometimes several weeks prior to birth, the tail stays in that position for most of the day when the baby is ready to emerge. Pregnant giraffes also often pace with their tail in that position just prior to beginning active labor, added Allison.
Observers of the YouTube live cam have seen the baby bump moving, showing “hard” kicks from the calf, commented Dean. Those strong kicks show that the baby is moving into position.
When active labor begins, the calf’s hooves will come out first. In a process that usually involves one hour to an hour and a half, the calf’s knees and head follow, added the zoo expert. After the shoulders emerge, it’s not much longer until the calf drops from the standing mom to the ground, a fall of about six feet.
[Featured Image by Martin Meissner/AP Images]