What to Know
- April has captivated tens of millions of people across the world who have been checking in on her via the live stream
- Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months; labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days
- The calf will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, and the zoo says it will hold a contest to name it once it arrives
April the pregnant giraffe is in "great physical and mental condition," the upstate New York zoo updating tens of millions of adoring fans said in its Thursday morning briefing, but "we start the day without a new calf."
The Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville said loyal supporters should be patient, adding "All in due time and without a rush."
Watch the live stream below.
Though April has yet to deliver, a pregnant woman who posted a now-viral Facebook video of her imitating the giraffe did give birth to a healthy baby boy. Erin Dietrich had a baby boy Wednesday. The zoo offered congratulations Thursday, joking, "April doesn't appreciate the extra pressure."
Dietrich and other fans worldwide have been glued to a live stream of April for weeks as they wait for the now famous giraffe to deliver her baby, which will be the first calf born at the park, the zoo has said.
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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.
U.S. & World
Fans had quite a scare late Wednesday when severe winds at the zoo knocked out the feed for a period of time. It was back up shortly before 10 p.m. The15-year-old April and her younger mate Oliver weren’t hurt during the evening windstorm, but continued strong gusts and cold weather were expected to keep the couple inside over the next few days.
New York's Pregnant Giraffe April Captured on Camera in the Final Throes of Pregnancy
More than 65,000 people were watching the YouTube stream before 9 a.m. Thursday as April chewed calmly on a snack, her tongue flicking in and out of her mouth as she flicked her ears in contentment. At one point, she looked right at the camera, whipping her tail as if to say hello to her fans.
April has had periods of edginess in recent weeks brought on by her kicking calf and stretches of cold weather. But vets who have been monitoring her say they're pleased with her progression.
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.
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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.