Giraffe watch: Physical sign indicates labor is getting closer - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

April the Giraffe

Giraffe watch: Physical sign indicates labor is getting closer

April the Giraffe gazes at the camera after the webcam went down during severe weather Wednesday. (Source: Animal Adventure Park/Facebook April the Giraffe gazes at the camera after the webcam went down during severe weather Wednesday. (Source: Animal Adventure Park/Facebook

HARPURSVILLE, NY (RNN) - In a late morning update, keepers and vets at Animal Adventure Park said discharge from April suggests that "the countdown to calf has begun."

Though she is not in active labor yet, the discharge is a sign that her body is getting ready for labor.

April's udder changes have been significant in recent days, and keepers say udder development "occurs, generally, just prior to birthing."

April's behavior continues to be good, if somewhat moody, and she has kept viewers at home as well as keepers on the edge of their seats.

It's been more than a month since the park shared the news of April's impending birth with the world, via social media. Thousands of fans have kept watch over live webcam footage chronicling April's every move. On Friday, they were startled by a momentary webcam breakdown, and at least 2,000 April fans sent emails to the park alerting staff to the disconnect. The camera was back up soon after.

Last Monday, April's vet said there wasn't enough data to determine exactly when she could go into labor. By March 23, the park reported she had become notably slower, saying that April was "in the home stretch" of her pregnancy. 

April's popularity led to a sponsorship from Toys 'R' Us, which has long featured the fictional "Geoffrey the Giraffe" as its mascot. 

"Both Animal Adventure Park and Toys 'R' Us have the common goal of bringing awareness to the plight of the giraffe as well as the need to create a sustainable future for them," the Facebook post stated. "Made possible in part by their sponsorship, Animal Adventure Park will be donating $25,000 to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation!"

The park reports the giraffes may soon receive some outdoor time as the ground thaws and the weather warms up.

Tens of thousands of people have been tuned in for days watching the reticulated giraffe walk around her pen and do very little else, waiting until she has the baby.

The calf will be April's fourth calf and her mate Oliver's first calf.

The little giraffe won't be all that little. At birth it will weigh in at about 150 pounds and will stand at about 6' tall, Animal Adventure Park said.

The feed was earlier removed by YouTube after it was labeled sexually explicit. The park blamed the removal on animal rights activists who oppose zoos.

While April has not yet given birth, the park reported on its Facebook page that it has welcomed three black belly Barbados lambs and twin pygmy goats since the giraffe watch began.

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