HARPURSVILLE, NY (WATE) – A New York petting zoo is sharing the joy as they are expecting a baby giraffe to be born:
Thursday, 10:30 p.m.
Animal Adventure Park says April the giraffe’s baby bump is growing. Keepers were able to put their hands on her belly Thursday and make “contact” with the baby. They say April appears to be more on edge and less “lovey” than usual.
Zookeepers are answering people’s questions on the Animal Adventure Park YouTube page as April the giraffe prepares to give birth.
April’s keeper said she is eating well and her body conditions remains as days prior.
“Continued movement of baby inside, and big baby kicks, are noticeably obvious. Through the evening April had to find her right positioning to feel comfortable to lay down, which is evidence of continued growth and position change of the calf,” said the park in a statement. ” Do not be concerned, it is natural and worked out by mom on her own.”
The park said there is still no signs of active labor, but mom and baby are healthy. Zookeepers will host a live chat from 8-9 p.m. E/T. WATE 6 On Your Side will carry the chat live online.
Related: Animal park awaits birth of baby giraffe
11:44 a.m. Sunday
Millions of people around the world are watching and waiting for April the giraffe to give birth.
Animal Adventure Park posted to their Facebook page that April is alert and attentive to her keepers. They said she shows no signs of discomfort.
“You will notice on our live feed, a lot of positioning in her hips, belly movements, and stutter stepping. This could be attributed to significant movement of the calf inside,” zookeepers said in a morning report on Sunday morning.
The zoo said the unborn calf is big. Calves are on average six feet tall and 150 pounds when they are born.
The Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York is live-streaming as their 15-year-old giraffe, April and her mate, Oliver welcome their baby.
Jordan Patch, the owner of the park told Spectrum News that April is in the last stage of her pregnancy.
Giraffes have a 15-month gestation period, according to Patch. When the baby is born it will likely stand around six feet tall and weigh around 150 pounds.
As of Saturday, February 25, the baby had not been born yet.
“We cannot confirm active labor at this time, however giraffes hide their signs as a natural instinct, that is why until we see hooves we will not announce active labor. Behavior is on point, mammary development is perfect! We are just waiting for the calf!” said The Animal Adventure Park said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
The baby is expected to be born sometime in the next few days.
“Process can take a few hours or a day or so — once hooves appear it will be 60 minutes before it’s out and on the ground,” Patch told NBC4.
According to CNBC, giraffe populations have been rapidly decimated across Africa and the species is threatened with extinction.
Giraffes were moved from Least Concern list to the Vulnerable list by the IUCN due to a dramatic 36-40% decline from approximately 151,702-163,452 individuals in 1985 to 97,562 in 2015.
The group cited Illegal hunting, habitat loss and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, increasing human-wildlife conflict, and civil unrest as reasons pushing the species towards extinction. Of the nine subspecies of giraffe, three have increasing populations, whilst five have decreasing populations and one is stable, according to the IUCN.
Patch told Spectrum News that he believes the giraffe born at the Animal Adventure Park will be important for the continued viability of the species.