STATUS CHECK: Seussian Post Explains Mystery of April's Labor (or Lack Thereof)
April the giraffe's calf is making its presence known. The calf was visibly poking April's belly on Sunday, making a bulge in her side, her keepers at an upstate New York zoo say.
"Holy smokes' baby is sticking out," the zoo posted on its Facebook page. Despite the progress, April still isn't in labor, the zoo said.
April's appetite "remains strong", but her hungry calf has calmed down, her keepers said.
The mom-to-be is now carrying everything closer to her rear, which keepers say is exactly what they want. April's calf has calmed down, a stark change from the active kicking and moving keepers have observed over the past couple of days.
"Keepers have noted a calming down of the calf and April carrying everything a bit towards the rear. This is exactly what we want!" the zoo said in a Sunday morning Facebook post. "Appetite remains strong."
The zoo shared an adorable photo captured last summer of the lovers extending their slick black tongues as they fight over a guest's carrot offering.
April's wax caps are still in place. As for when she'll deliver, only time will tell, Animal Adventure Park says.
Watch the live stream below (NOTE: weather conditions may cause intermittent disruptions).
April has had periods of edginess in recent weeks brought on by stretches of cold weather and her active calf. Neither she nor Oliver have been able to roam freely outdoors because of the bitter cold and heaps of snow covering the tri-state.
Nevertheless, April is in “great physical and mental condition,” and the vets who have been monitoring her say they’re pleased with her progress.
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.
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.