Animal Adventure Park is about to gain a new addition very soon!
Months after it was announced that April the Giraffe was expecting again and due sometime in March, the zoo in Harpursville, New York recently revealed in a post on Facebook that the baby calf’s arrival could come sooner than anticipated.
“Well, giraffe fans, it’s been some time since an update of this nature. Ironically on the anniversary of the camera truly going viral!” they wrote on Saturday, referencing the last time April was pregnant and captured more than 1.2 million people’s attention belatedly giving birth to son Tajiri on a live stream.
Though the zoo explained they “did not anticipate doing anything like this for another 1-2 weeks,” they shared that April’s pregnancy was progressing — and quickly!
“Behavioral and physical changes are suggesting we are very much moving towards having a calf. Perhaps sooner than end of March, as originally predicted based on keeper observations. (But hey – we’ve been wrong before)” they said, in a nod to April’s longer than expected pregnancy in April 2017.
The average giraffe is typically pregnant for 15 months, but April was famously pregnant with Tajiri for 16 months.
“Wax caps have been present, udders are developing/filling,” they continued, alongside a close-up shot of her udder. “Stargazing behaviors were observed today and lackluster interest in feed.”
“While we do not anticipate a calf this evening, tomorrow is another day,” the zoo wrote.
News of the animal’s pregnancy broke over the summer on NBC’s Today, in a spirited announcement made by Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch.
“The results are in and we are having a baby,” Patch said in July of the 15-year-old giraffe.
April is already mom to four other calves, including Tajiri. Oliver the giraffe, Tajiri’s 6-year-old father, is once again April’s baby daddy.
For her part, April has been eating for two. “The average giraffe eats 10 to 20 lbs. of grain a day, and another 10 to 30 lbs. of hay, and a lot of carrots,” Patch said. “She eats and eats and eats.”
While Patch wouldn’t confirm April’s exact due date at the time, he said the giraffe is expected to give birth in early spring. “We’ll throw out that March window,” he said. “She’s in there.”
As for the baby-to-be’s sex, Patch said staff won’t know whether April is having a male or a female “until the calf’s on the ground.”
For 65 days last year, the world was glued to the zoo’s ongoing live stream of April during her pregnancy with Tajiri. Because of her popularity, Animal Adventure Park began live-streaming April’s enclosure from as early as July.
“Our team of zoologists certainly know the connection she’s had,” Patch said. “The camera is up, and rolling, and they’re watching right now.”
Giraffe populations have declined by 40 percent in the past 30 years, according to Patch. “Every calf counts,” he said. “Every calf born in the program means something.”
Those who are interested in staying up to date with April’s pregnancy can sign up to receive labor text message alerts here or follow along with her YouTube live stream.
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