April the Giraffe: The Latest Internet Hit
If you’ve paid any attention to social media or to your local news lately, you might have seen a live feed from Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York where keepers are anxiously awaiting for April, a fifteen-year-old Reticulated Giraffe, to give birth to her fourth calf any day now.
Support for the park and the giraffes have been pouring in during the recent weeks. So much so that the workers are having a hard time keeping up with them. Animal Adventure Park workers are constantly updating changes in terms of the calf’s growth and April’s behavior and believe them when they say it, no one is more ready for the calf to be born than she is. Giraffes have a gestation period of fifteen months, so she’s been carrying the calf for a long time.
Animal Adventure Park is described as “an interactive educational animal park designed to promote up close and hands-on animal encounters.” The park is currently in its off-season but has set up a “giraffe cam” where those anticipating around the world can see the live feed straight from the barn. The giraffe keepers, Allysa and Corey, show up in the feed a few times a day, occasionally with lettuce and carrot treats. They clean the stalls every evening and draw April towards the camera, and you can see her pretty face at about nine o’clock at night every night munching on her treats.
The park and the mother have been receiving many comments from social media sources, many positive and impatient ones. “It’s crazy,” park owner Jordan Patch said of the attention. “It’s overwhelming.”
“I’ve noticed that April is such a good girl,” Annie Sichley said. “She seems pretty patient and easy going, even when Oliver comes in and heads straight for her food. She wants to rub on him and he wants her food. Typical Boy. LOL.”
“I’ve seen grass grow faster,” Chelsea Hammer said online about April’s labor.
Animal Adventure Park continues to give us twice-daily updates about her developments, and is always open to answer questions about the giraffes at the park.
Keepers remind us everyday via Facebook and live video that April is on her own schedule, and that they can’t do anything about it but keep her healthy and safe. They have announced that after the calf is born and the gender is revealed, there will be a naming contest.
However, when she does give birth, labor will only take thirty minutes to an hour. But, keepers will only be able to tell when she is in labor when they see hooves poking out of her backside. The front hooves will come first, then the head, and then the rest of the body. It might look frightening, but the calf will fall right out of April and right onto the ground since she is giving birth standing up.