April is just being April, the Adventure Animal Park said of the giraffe that is again keeping the world waiting — and watching — for birth.
By Beth Dalbey, Patch National Staff | Mar 11, 2019 11:11 am ET | Updated Mar 12, 2019 8:45 am ET
HARPURSVILLE, NY — April the giraffe is playing with the world again. She’s just killing us. The Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville said last week the birth of April’s fifth calf was imminent, but so far, there’s no baby.
In a Monday evening Facebook update on April’s progress, the Harpursville animal park referenced the hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa, wring: “Ah, push it, p-push it real good.” April had been having what appeared to be contractions Monday, with “pushing.”
“Every few minutes, April would extend her tail and her back end would bulge an additional couple inches away from the body due to pressure,” the post said. “This was observed repeatedly, along with discharge — prompting cleaning, bedding, and preparedness. Lo and behold, April was being April.”
The giraffe is well and her pregnancy is “predictably unpredicatble,” according to the post.
The reference, of course, was to April’s seemingly never-ending pregnancy in 2017, when she kept the world waiting for two months before she gave birth to Tajiri, or Taj.
You can read the full Monday evening update here:
The park said on Sunday there were some “promising and new” signs, such as loss of appetite and extended periods of gazing. But, more important, “April’s tail is now hanging and pinning to the left a bit, which is appropriate and expected positioning for the big moment.”
Last week, the animal park said on Facebook that birth was imminent — which, of course, is a relative term when it comes to the adorable April.
Tens of thousands of people have been glued to their computers and mobile devices in recent days in anticipation of the big event. April’s behavior has been consistent with an impending birth, but active labor won’t begin until hooves are showing.
On Saturday, the animal park said that “without question, we are there,” but “it’s a matter of when” April will have her calf.
Jordan Patch, Animal Adventure Park owner, actually prepared us for a waiting game with April when he announced April’s pregnancy in July 2018. The gestation period for a giraffe is one of the longest of any mammals — between 425 and 465 days, or about 15 months. Patch told NBC’s “Today” show that “April likes to go 16, 17, 18 … 19 months.”
Our hearts can’t take it. April, when are you going to drop that calf?
“Drop” isn’t just a turn of phrase. Giraffes give birth standing up, hooves and head first, and the calf drops six feet. But don’t be alarmed about giraffe calves’ abrupt entry into the world. The fall breaks the amniotic sac and severs the umbilical cord, but most important, according to Animal Planet is that it “encourages the calf to take its first breaths.”
Once April does give birth, she will immediately begin cleaning off the newborn, and it will attempt its first steps within minutes.
Baby giraffes weigh anywhere from 104 to 220 pounds when they are born.