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
It appears we're not the only ones looking for new ways to say "April the giraffe is still pregnant."
In its latest Facebook post, entitled "Shape of You," Animal Adventure Park, the upstate New York zoo live-streaming the giraffe's fourth pregnancy for tens of millions of worldwide admirers, said April's physical development brought to mind an Ed Sheeran song.
"Every day discovering something brand new I'm in love with your body Oh—I—oh—I—oh—I—oh—I -- I'm in love with your body Of course the context is completely different, but no less obsessive in nature!" the Facebook post said.
The keeper's Thursday morning report indicated significant change to April's shape, according to the post; she's "much less beach-balled" and her "bulges" have "streamlined," meaning, perhaps, the calf's position has shifted in preparation for the "launch sequence" that the world has been waiting for.
7 Events That Happened While Waiting for April the Giraffe to Give Birth
More than 200,000 curious fans around the world were tuned into the stream before 10:30 a.m. Thursday as April snacked on something out of view of the camera. Her 5-year-old beau Oliver, though, scratched his face on a post of his own pen and rewarded viewers with some particularly cute expressions.
Watch the live stream below.
Even though many predictions about when April will go into labor have been thrown out the window, Dr. Tim, the veterinarian caring for the world-famous giraffe, says he isn't worried her time hasn't come yet.
"No, she isn't late; no, she isn't overdue; no, I'm not concerned she is 'taking so long,' nor should you be," Dr. Tim wrote on Facebook after his own labor projections turned out to be wrong. "Pretty much all of her clinical signs from a couple days ago are still true."
"She just isn't quite ready to give the world what it wants," he said.
And thus, we will continue to wait.
[NATL] Adorable Zoo Babies: White Lion Cubs Nala and Simba Born in France
When April goes into active labor, the baby's front hoofs will be the first to come out, followed by the snout, the zoo says.
Mom will naturally raise the calf on her own, and weaning could take between six to 10 months, maybe even longer -- the zoo says it won't rush the process. Once weaning is over, the baby giraffe will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there.
"We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species," the zoo says.
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. This is the zoo's first giraffe calf.
Three Baby Giraffes Born at Six Flags in New Jersey as Giraffe Pregnancy Captivates World
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.