LIVE STREAM: Viewers see contractions during April the giraffe labor watch

HARPURSVILLE, N.Y.– Animal Adventure Park expected to welcome a new baby giraffe over the weekend, but that didn’t happen.

The park began streaming on Feb. 23, showing April preparing to give birth, drawing worldwide attraction. The video was initially removed after animal rights activists flagged the videos as “sexually explicit” before being restored.

Fans have been watching closely and reacting to any small event that occurs on the stream.

In the April 13, update, zookeepers said April was “doing great” and didn’t have too much of an appetite. They also responded to questions about some “dominant” behavior shown by her companion, Oliver:

April is doing great with light discharge. Appetite is so so.

Some people inquired about Oliver’s behavior with April earlier this evening. He was not being “aggressive” -but he was certainly showing his dominance. You may have noticed his playful necking behaviors (not true aggressive necking behavior), his blocking her movements, etc. This is all part of the fun an games of a young bull. At no time did he pose and serious threat to April of her calf…her laying down puts more force on the womb/calf, than light head bumps from Oliver.

Previous updates:

The park says April the giraffe isn’t late giving birth. Viewers on Sunday night noticed what appeared to be “pushing contractions” and are hoping to see a calf soon.

Monday morning, an update was posted on the park’s official Facebook page.

“This morning keeper report is no interest in grain and only smelling lettuce treats. No discomfort evident, no distress – normal progression as expected in the process. Many of you may have witnessed what appeared as “pushing” contractions last night. The team and vet were in communication regarding these and were documented throughout the night. Let’s see if April’s plan is to break up your work week!”

The new calf will be April’s fourth, according to Animal Adventure Park.

In a Tuesday update, the park said April “looks, and is acting, great.” Staff worked to clean the giraffe barn as the world waits for April to give birth.

Wednesday’s update appeared to show some significant developments. Here’s what the park wrote on Facebook:

Corey noted some changes this evening. April’s backend has some significant “bulging” occurring. She was very “with it” but then became very distracted and as Corey put it, “would have walked right through me”. Though sounding intimidating; this behavior is what we will see – consistently – when in active labor. She will walk through her strong contractions and push push push.

All else is well and fresh air and the outdoors was enjoyed at length today!

Thursday’s update said April had “quite an appetite.” After consulting with other parks, zoo officials said mothers will sometimes feast before giving birth:

Allysa has reported that April has quite an appetite this evening! This is after a few days of picking at grain and hay. We have been told by other parks that mothers will sometimes feast just before the birth. Who knows and here is to hoping! Behavior was very typical at first, but shifted during Allysa’s time with her. This is not a bad thing, just adds another piece to our puzzle.

Weather has taken a horrible turn here. Rain and cold…and more rain. Mild flooding is occurring along the rivers, we will prep the ark. Giraffes will remain indoors until conditions are agreeable.

On Monday, April 10, the zoo posted that there was no significant changes in April’s physical appearance and didn’t expect any further physical changes.

We are waiting for increased pacing to indicate an active labor situation has begun, in addition to pushing/contractions. So, be watchful of behavioral changes!

Giraffes will have a beautiful day in the yard with 70 Degree temperatures on the horizon! We will capture some great shots of Oliver and April outdoors, along with staff and share those with you late day today thru the text subscription service.

On Monday, April enjoyed some time outside. When she came back indoors, zookeepers said everything appeared to be heading in the right direction:

Upon putting the giraffes away this evening – Corey & Jordan observed some extra discharge and swell. Just more indication of heading in the right direction. Dr Tim was onsite soon after and confirms we have a happy healthy momma and the waiting game continues! WE WILL SEE WHAT THE FULL MOON BRINGS!

On Tuesday, zookeepers described April as “happy, big and beautiful.” She enjoyed lots of time outside:

April’s condition remains the same: happy, big and beautiful. She enjoyed extended yard time today in the warm weather and sun.

We do apologize for changes in routine schedule and tardiness of posts. Now being in construction mode, preparing the park for open team members are working extended hours while encountering many daily variables. We will continue to do our best to keep you updated and informed on this giraffe journey.

On Wednesday, April 12, the zoo said they noted “significant movement” from the calf April is carrying. They also posted photos of her udder to show mammary development.

All is well in the Giraffe Barn – doors are open and yard time has already begun! Physical body condition remains the same, comfort level has not changed, behavior is on point.

Today’s photo is of the udder, to show mammary development. 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!

The park also announced those who have signed up for the text message alert system will know the gender of the calf first. The live stream can be viewed here. You can sign up to get text message alerts here.

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