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April the Giraffe Tantalizes Live Stream Viewers as Labor Nears

Tens of millions of people across the globe have tuned into the live stream in anticipation of the birth of April's fourth calf

What to Know

  • April has captivated tens of millions of people across the world who have been checking in on her via the live stream
  • Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months; labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days
  • The calf will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, and the zoo says it will hold a contest to name it once it arrives

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April the giraffe was seen looking out the window as Tuesday's ferocious nor’easter drifted out of the region, while the zoo live-streaming her now world-famous pregnancy said keepers reported the baby calf was very active.

"April is doing what she does best, and waiting, and we are thankful!" the Animal Adventure Park, in Harpursville, posted in its Facebook update Wednesday morning.

The zoo said the night before that keepers saw signs April is nearing the end of her pregnancy, including "swelling and pulsing." The checkered, long-necked beauty has remained in marvelous condition as she awaits the arrival of her fourth calf, vets have said.

We visited April the giraffe at Animal Adventure Park to see how she and her keepers were getting on ahead of the birth of her new calf.

“Procedures are in place to get the necessary individuals to the site should April begin birth,” The Animal Adventure Park wrote in the post, which included a black-and-white photo of April using her long neck to peek out of her window as heavy winds lingered in the area following the storm.

In the meantime, “We remain in a holding pattern," the zoo wrote. 

April the giraffe was seen on the live stream Wednesday morning around 8 a.m. standing in a corner with her backside to the camera, patiently awaiting the next steps in her pregnancy. She even gave an occasional tail wag. She took time to put food into her belly as more than 70,000 people tuned in. Later, she stared right at the camera, flicking her tongue as she munched on yet another snack. 

Watch the live stream below (NOTE: weather conditions are causing intermittent disruptions).

The stream has had intermittent weather-related outages, but with calmer forecasts ahead, it's expected to stay up -- perfect timing as April nears the birth of her fourth calf.

April has had periods of edginess in recent weeks brought on by stretches of cold weather and her active calf. Nevertheless, April is in “great physical and mental condition,” and the vets who have been monitoring her say they’re pleased with her progress.

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April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines late last month after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "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.

Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.

"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education.

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Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.

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