Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Giraffe Watch: Movement inside April's belly, but still no baby calf

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Melissa Porter | 04 March, 2017, 02:30

The world has been watching with bated breath this week as April the Very Pregnant Giraffe grows rounder and rounder - and ever more ready to bless us with an adorable, miniature version of herself, albeit covered in goo - at the Animal Adventure Park petting zoo in upstate NY.

While the world is on edge waiting for April to go into labor, it's important to realize that Animal Adventure Park owner said that it could be 17 or 34 days past what they thought was the due date.

"Why? Could be many reasons", the Facebook post said.

"April's website, aprilthegiraffe.com, includes a link for buying apparel from baby clothing to adult-sized hoodies imprinted with a giraffe's head and "#Aprils View Crew" along with the park's name and location.

Park officials shared two photos of April from a week apart, showing April's "growth is perhaps more noticeable when (compared) like this versus day to day".

Cold weather could shake things up for the expecting giraffe, the zoo said.

This isn't the only time the internet has been captivated with the long-necked, long-legged animal. That means more enrichment activities, training sessions and extra attention from the team, the zoo said.

More than 100,000 people are now watching a livestream of a giraffe giving birth.

The zookeepers have been holding live chats every night to discuss the giraffe and her baby. Watch the live stream above.

The excitement reached a fever pitch last week, when the live feed of her pen was briefly yanked off YouTube after animal rights activists complained that the video contained "nudity and sexual content". Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months, according to Animal Adventure Park.

Take a breath, settle down and read on: Here's your giraffe labor cheat sheet.

The calf will be April's fourth calf and her mate Oliver's first calf. At birth, the calf measured 5 feet tall and weighed 73 pounds, which is on the smaller side for giraffes, according to zoo officials.

On Feb. 28, the Denver Zoo giraffe gave birth to an unexpected baby boy, later named Dobby, without fanfare in the early morning.