HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. – There's only one more real drastic change we'll see in April -- and that's active labor, according to her keepers.
On Friday, her keepers said that she had been outside and "enjoying the sun."
"Light discharge continues," the update reads. "Otherwise, all is normal and well - as expected. The only real drastic changes we will see from here is active labor - no much more change / development can occur."
Thursday's update veered into TMI territory, so be warned:
"Backend slightly damp but nothing to get excited about yet. We are still observing light discharge on a daily basis"
Wednesday's update said April's udder showed "mammary development". April's keepers also had stern words for those believe her pregnancy to be fake news:
"For any hoaxers or #Fakenews stories questioning April and the pregnancy - a quick biology lesson - animals do not develop milk unless supporting a pregnancy. Furthermore - giraffes do not develop large udders like cattle etc, so to see this much development truly suggests calving in the near future.
Patience is a virtue! Remember, the Giraffe Cam was not set-up to capture an immediate birth - it was set-up to capture a process. Mind you, we did expect a calf sooner than this - but that is all part of the journey!
We're still waiting!
In case you missed it, Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch offered a few updates and FAQ’s on April last week.
Is April actually in labor?
There's been a lot of speculation of how long April has been in labor and if she's actually contracting. Patch explained that it's not very likely that you will be able to tell April's labor until you see an actual hoof begin to poke out of her rear-end. Giraffe's instinctively hide their labor for however long it's lasting in order to not draw attention from predators who will wait out a giraffe's labor in order to attack once the calf is born. One sign of active labor is when the giraffe's water breaks. It can be anywhere from a slow trickle of liquid to a flow of mucus.
Then why is the feed up if we're not sure when the calf is coming?
Animal Adventure Park is currently in its off-season and the park is closed to visitors. People who've visited the park in previous months knew of April's pregnancy and the park has been receiving inquiries about her giving birth. Animal Adventure felt this was a good way to keep those who wanted to follow along with April informed.
Is the calf a boy or girl?
Animal Adventure says their ultrasound equipment cannot tell the sex of the calf.
Why is April's mate, Oliver, kept separate from April?
Male giraffes instinctively care about three things. Mating, fighting and eating. Oliver is only allowed inside with April a little at a time and under close supervision. Otherwise, he could be a danger to April and her calf by either fighting her, attempting to mate with her or eating her food. Male giraffes also are not part of the child rearing process.
How can we tell if April is contracting?
Giraffes are pros and hiding their labor, but Patch explains there are certain signs he looks for that he believes are her contractions. They include movement in the hips, straightening of the neck and stomach movement, which is the calf moving inside.
What if YouTube removes the video again?
Animal Adventures says they have a back-up plan and will go live from their Facebook page of the feed.
When the public submit names for the baby?
Once the calf is born and the sex is determined, Animal Adventures will post a contest announcement on their social media platforms where you can submit your name suggestions.
How old is April?
We learned that April is 15 years old. In natural habitats, a giraffes' life span is about 15 years. However when in human care that can extend to 20-27 years old. Patch explained that April is in good and strong condition that not only is her life span expected to go well past the 15 years, depending on how she handles her fourth birth, she could possibly be fit enough to have more calves.
How long has April been with Animal Adventure Park?
April has been with Animal Adventure Park since September 2015 and this is her first calf birth at the park. Once her calf is born and she is done nursing it, he or she will move on to another facility as it's rare to keep family members together with fear of incest.
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