Pregnant Giraffe in Live Stream Doing Well as Birth of Calf Nears

Labor for giraffes can last up to a few days

What to Know

  • Millions of people have been watching the stream in anticipation of the birth of "April" the giraffe's fourth calf
  • Her story was vaulted into global headlines after activists complaining of "nudity" got the livestream yanked from YouTube
  • The livestream was back online about an hour and a half after the brouhaha started

STATUS CHECK: April the Giraffe Has 'Active Night,' Not Pleased by Vet Visit

The 15-year-old giraffe named "April," who has captivated millions of people across the world in a live stream as she prepares for the birth of her fourth calf at an upstate New York zoo, is still pregnant and doing well. 

Veterinarians with the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, outside Binghamton, said Sunday night April was experiencing increased belly movement and was not wanting to be touched.

"April was notably less tolerant of veterinary examination today...but always a lady, she kept her manners," the vets 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.

Despite that spirits were high, with the zoo joking that April had been nominated by the president for Secretary of Labor, "as she was rather experienced," however she had to decline the appointment due to her "hooves being full".

The happy and healthy mother-to-be has also started to produce milk and shed a few droplets during a Saturday evening examination.

New York's Pregnant Giraffe April Captured on Camera in the Final Throes of Pregnancy

April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines earlier Thursday after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's live 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. 

More than 30 million people across the globe have tuned in over the last few days to watch it. You can check out the live stream below.

Giraffe pregnancies can take 15 months, and labor can last up to a few days.

The spotted beauty was up early Monday morning eating a late night snack and circling her pen. On Sunday morning, she had gazed into the camera, wiggling her ears as she chewed her breakfast. The zoo said the giraffes will stay inside due to the extreme temperature drop and wet or frozen conditions. 

"Rest assured, they receive extra enrichment and extra attention on days they do not venture out," the zoo said. "A little extra bonding time!"

April has been slinking gracefully around her hay-laden home in no apparent distress. Once she goes into active labor, zoo officials say the keepers will go in to help her.

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She and the first-time father, 5-year-old Oliver, had to be separated from each other while they frolicked outside Saturday afternoon because he got aggressive and wanted to rough house. According to vets, bullish behavior is common for male giraffes during the final stages of pregnancy.

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"He does not want to play house -- he wants to ROUGH house," the park wrote in a Facebook post Saturday morning. "That is natural behavior as males take no part in rearing their young, nor have a need for a female once she is pregnant. Sad but true."

Viewers were concerned about the long-necked lovers' separation and questioned the vet's intentions until the zoo offered reassurance and told animal lovers to trust them.

Not much changed over the weekend: April alternated between standing still, swinging her tail, drinking water and slowly circling her pen. At one point Saturday afternoon, the calf could be seen kicking around in her belly.

Giraffe pregnancies last for 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf 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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