April the giraffe is still pregnant but all signs indicate active labor isn’t far away. A 15-year-old Reticulated giraffe who lives at the Harpursville, New York Animal Adventure Park (AAP), April is nearing the end of her pregnancy and all eyes are waiting to witness a giraffe calf born live online. Streaming since January, the Animal Adventure Park You Tube feed is one of the most popular live streams and at times more than 100,000 people are watching the giraffe cam simultaneously. April has shown signs indicating active labor is not far away. Most notable are changes in her stomach, tremendous activity and movement of the baby calf, changes in her udders, exhibiting a swollen vulva and producing discharge. Next on the list and what will signify the onset of the appearance of calf hooves will be a shifting in her stomach as April’s calf gets into the birthing position. Though some are disappointed that April hasn’t given birth yet, it’s important to remember that nature has its own timeframe. April is moving in the right direction and there isn’t much more that needs to be done before active labor begins and her calf’s hooves hit the ground.
April The Giraffe Labor Updates: Stomach, Udders And Vulva, Watch Live Cam https://t.co/gcboPAoiKN via Charisse Van Horn
— All Trends IT (@All_Trends_IT) March 15, 2017
You can watch the live giraffe cam in the video player below. Since the giraffe cam went live in January there have been many interruptions. At first, the Animal Adventure Park needed to work out kinks and ensure they had live, steady stream. It should be stated that this is the first time the AAP has live streamed an event, as Jordan Patch stated during a recent interview. Inclement weather, a recent snow storm and just glitches have repeatedly caused an interruption in the live feed. Last night, the live stream went down again, prompting many to react with fear they would miss April go into active labor and deliver her calf live online. Fortunately, there is still a little time left before active labor begins. Though April is experiencing many signs of early labor, the calf will need to descend into the birth canal and her udders need to produce milk before the baby calf makes his or her grand debut. If the live feed goes down, the new one will resume in the playlist below. You don’t need to worry that the playlist won’t have the live giraffe cam. Simply wait until the feed is restored and it will resume playing below. You can watch the live giraffe cam now and see April in her heated stall at the AAP giraffe barn.
April the Giraffe Live Cam: Watch Now
April The Giraffe Changes To Expect Before Active Labor And Calf Hooves Are Seen https://t.co/BcjErCgmtF via Charisse Van Horn
— All Trends IT (@All_Trends_IT) March 14, 2017
The Animal Adventure Park provides two Facebook updates regarding April’s current condition below. Though many who have watched April on the live cam are concerned for her well-being and care, it should be stated that she is regularly examined by veterinarian Dr. Tim. Allysa, one of April’s handlers, is a licensed zoologist and the AAP staff are thoroughly equipped for the birth. Others are concerned that April is late or has gone over her due date. Suggestions for an ultrasound to see if April needs a Caesarean section have been mentioned. April is not late or overdue and she doesn’t need a C-section.
Giraffes are extremely fertile creatures. It seems a bit of a rarity as they have a fertility cycle that runs every 14-17 days, yet are pregnant for 15 months. Giraffes may also conceive while they are producing milk. This is a trait that isn’t common in large mammals. Because the AAP staff observed mating behavior between April and her mate Oliver “Ollie” in October 2015, the birthing window was placed at the end of January beginning to mid February. When that timeframe came and went, the birthing window was readjusted.
April may have conceived in November or December. Consider that she was fertile twice each month and you’ll see it can be extremely difficult to determine when a giraffe will go into active labor and give birth.
Here is a quote from the March 15, 2017, evening update as shared on Facebook along with the entire post. You can also see a video of Dr. Tim examining April the giraffe on March 15, 2017, below.
“April has thankfully, continued to remain in current condition. Vet report today suggests we should begin watching for a shift in calf position/and belly carry from low to back. This would suggest movement into place for birthing.
Tomorrow will be stall cleaning, some shared space time, and another FB LIVE update (at some point) from the property to show just how much snow we have!”
April will have her stall in the giraffe barn cleaned today and then the AAP will begin dealing with snow removal.
[Featured Image by A_Kazantsev/Shutterstock]