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
Another day has passed, and believe it or not, April the giraffe is still pregnant.
Animal Adventure Park, the upstate New York zoo live-streaming April's pregnancy for millions of curious viewers around the world over the last month and a half, reported late Tuesday the famous giraffe's condition remained the same: "happy, big and beautiful."
Nothing had changed by Wednesday morning. The zoo continues to promise April's fans that she's moving in the right direction, though at least some of those watching her day in and day out have indicated they're a bit dubious the giraffe is even pregnant at all.
Her hunky younger beau, Oliver, would likely argue otherwise. Animal Adventure Park posted an adorable picture of the couple sharing an afternoon snack from their new enrichment gift on Tuesday.
The zoo has said the 15-year-old long-necked beauty has been getting out more in the warm weather, which is a good sign. Keepers and vets are monitoring her activity level; increased pacing may signify active labor.
The zoo tells us to keep watching, and we are -- along with everyone else. More than 100,000 people were tuned into the live stream before 8 a.m. Wednesday as April, munchy as ever, snacked on something just below the camera lens. Oliver was seen in his own pen in the background, watching.
Watch the live stream below.
Once April goes into 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.
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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.