HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. — Tuesday morning, April’s keeper reports that her “back end swell is noticeably larger than yesterday.”
Keepers also note that when April has calves, it takes place very quickly.
On Friday, the vet for April the giraffe learned a very valuable lesson — don’t predict when the world’s most famous giraffe will give birth.
The Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York predicted that April would deliver her calf by the end of the day. Then “Dr. Tim” said she’d deliver within the next “24-48 hours.” That deadline also came and went.
In a Monday morning update, April’s keeper says the expectant mom has “no interest in grain and only smelling lettuce treats” and that viewers of the live cam overnight witnessed “what appeared as ‘pushing’ contractions Sunday night.
Zoo officials said Sunday, despite new signs that April the Giraffe was getting closer and closer to giving birth, she just isn’t quite ready to give the world what it is waiting for. Her vet said she remains happy and comfortable, considering her circumstances.
The internet superstar began showing signs of contractions Saturday, officials at the Animal Adventure Park in New York said on Facebook.
On Sunday morning, April had “full udders” and “increased discharge,” they said. “April also continues to be a bit out of character.”
A change in the weather could be just what the doctor ordered. A snow storm Friday night forced the zoo’s giraffes to be kept in their indoor stalls, but temperatures were expected to climb into the 50s on Sunday.
“Keepers feel they will be able to get the giraffes yard time [Sunday], as yard conditions have returned to safe,” officials said. “Perhaps that will ‘shake’ things up!”
On Sunday, officials said they would “continue to watch and wait.”
Zookeepers pointed out some signs and behaviors to watch for as she gets closer to giving birth.
“You may see her lifting each leg, pinning ears, dazing off, raising tail – those behaviors are what we want to see and expect to increase in frequency,” officials said.
Millions of people have logged on to watch the live Giraffe Cam over the past few weeks, as Animal Adventure awaits the arrival of its first giraffe calf.
This is April’s fourth calf, and the first for her 5-year-old mate Oliver.
April has developed a following since the zoo initially began live streaming her preparing to give birth on Feb. 23. Hundreds of thousands of people check the stream daily to see if April has given birth.
The videos were initially cut short as people flagged them as “sexually explicit.”
Giraffes can be in labor anywhere from two to six hours. Once the calf begins to show, it should be out in under an hour.
Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months, according to Animal Adventure Park. The calf will weigh around 150 pounds and be approximately 6-feet-tall at birth.
Once the calf is born, the zoo will hold a contest to name it.