Zoo says April the Giraffe may give birth soon

Giraffe in Taronga Zoo
Local animal cams available as nation awaits giraffe birth
Author

01 April, 2017

Keepers said all observations and behavior indicate the calf will be born Friday.

Patch said park officials called in a doctor because April had "progressed significantly overnight".

"Instead of local or regional we're global", said Cortney Whalen, a spokeswoman for zoo owner Jordan Patch.

The park added: "This is what we have all been waiting for!"

Animal Adventures says they have a back-up plan and will go live from their Facebook page of the feed.

Much like long breaks between seasons of your favorite show or with long-running government operations, speculation and theories often have time to percolate. Patch explained that it's not very likely that you will be able to tell April's labor until you see an actual hoof begin to poke out of her rear-end.

The park's live stream was interrupted briefly last week when YouTube pulled the feed after someone reported the images contained explicit material and nudity.

Like many of you, we spent the evening watching our April. They would be shocked if she went through the weekend without giving birth.

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This will be April's fourth calf and the first for the father, Oliver. Others pointed out that her name is April, which would play right into the joke.

April's udder changes have been significant in recent days, and keepers say udder development "occurs, generally, just prior to birthing".

But in all seriousness, giraffes keep their pregnancies low profile, instinctively hiding signs of labor from predators who might harm their newborns.

"The main thing we want to get out of [the animals cams] is the enjoyment of seeing our animals and education", Hannah Hammon, Chattanooga Zoo director of marketing and communication, said. Male giraffes also are not part of the child rearing process.

We learned that April is 15 years old.

Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months, according to Animal Adventure Park. This is the zoo's first giraffe calf.

When April's calf is eventually born, it will stand at 6-feet-all and weight 150 pounds.


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