April the giraffe isn't overdue, her doctor said. But she is close.
A recent statement from Dr. Tim at the Animal Adventure Park in New York said the pregnant giraffe "just isn't quite ready to give the world what it wants." The doctor also addressed a few questions about this pregnancy.
Here's the Tuesday morning update:
Morning Keeper report is that April continues to ignore grain, and back end swell is noticeably larger than day prior. We, like many of you, sat up in bed or were inches from our screens a few times last night. She keeps us guessing. Rest assured, all is well, there is no distress, no pain - she is simply (but slowly) advancing. From what we have been told from prior facility - when she has her calves - she calves very quickly - which has us all on our toes as it is!
Giraffes should get yard time today - though we will watch the skys - as thunder storms are predicted and Lightning is a bad thing for giraffes!
Here's an update from the park Monday night:
April has remained off grain again today, toys with her hay, turns up her nose at lettuce, but likes a DR Tim Carrot Treat!
Tonight will be another long night as we wait for April to decide just when is right!
The giraffes loved the beautiful weather outdoors today!
Many of you tuned in this evening to see lights out early. With normal routine returning of warm temps and yard time, coupled with the thought that a natural light cycle of the dusk and dawn type may help entice/speed up our labor, you will see us change our treat time and lights out routine to earlier in the day. When exactly? Depends on quite a bit...so keep watching!
Here's the doctor's full statement from Monday morning and Sunday night:
This morning keeper report is no interest in grain and only smelling lettuce treats. No discomfort evident, no distress - normal progression as expected in the process. Many of you may have witnessed what appeared as "pushing" contractions last night. The team and vet were in communication regarding these and were documented throughout the night. Let's see if April's plan is to break up your work week!
Keepers continue to report the same physical and behavioral observations. The giraffes did enjoy some outside time today, though April chose to enjoy the sunshine and air from her doorway.
Tonight we share some answers and feedback from the vet on questions he receives in public forums.
"Faking out Dr. Tim"
So the timeline for my 24-48 hour prediction is rapidly coming to an end... not surprising is the fact that we still have no calf and we still don't have a giraffe in Labor! Pretty much all of her clinical signs from a couple days ago are still true. She just isn't quite ready to give the world what it wants.
To answer a few question I have seen on the web in various places: no, she isn't late; no, she isn't overdue; no, I'm not concerned she is "taking so long", nor should you be. Yes she remains happy and comfortable (considering the circumstances). Yes, she will have this calf when she is good and ready. No, public outcry won't change that. No, I cannot induce her, nor should we want to... (those are human constructs which don't apply to large wild animals and only endanger the life of April and her calf )Yes, it will be awesome when the calf arrives. No, watching after April is not my only job. Yes, we have been watching her for a very long time... enjoy the
You all know how much I love to be wrong about my predictions, but such is life. I'll keep all posted and will let you know when the baby is on its way. It really shouldn't be much longer, I'm just not going to tell you my guesstimate anymore.
Background from AP:
A pregnant giraffe has its own website, a GoFundMe page, an apparel line and millions of people worldwide watching live-streaming video waiting for it to give birth.
The 15-year-old long-legged YouTube star, named April, is expected to give birth any time now in her enclosed pen at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, rural upstate village 130 miles northwest of New York City.
Since the privately owned zoo's giraffe cam began live-streaming video from April's enclosure last month, the feed has totaled more than 15 million views on YouTube as people around the world check on the status of April's 15-month pregnancy.
"Instead of local or regional we're global," said Cortney Whalen, a spokeswoman for zoo owner Jordan Patch. "It has definitely broadened the general awareness of the park."
In videos posted on the park's Facebook page this week, Patch has said that he's been busy tending to his 200-plus other animals and that the flood of emails has become "so overbearing" that he's asking people to stop sending them.
A GoFundMe page set up for April, giraffe father Oliver and their calf has raised more than $100,000 out of a goal of $50,000. Whalen said the park also has received separate donations, but she said she didn't know how much. All the money will be used to feed, house and care for the giraffes.
April's website, aprilthegiraffe.com, includes a link for buying apparel from baby clothing to adult-sized hoodies imprinted with a giraffe's head and "#Aprils View Crew" along with the park's name and location.
The park's live stream was interrupted briefly when YouTube pulled the feed after someone reported the images contained explicit material and nudity. Patch blamed "a handful of extremists and animal rights activists" for the interruption.
Giraffes can be in labor anywhere from hours to a full day. April was elsewhere when she gave birth to her first three calves, and this one will be the Harpursville zoo's first giraffe calf. Patch plans to hold an online naming competition for the baby after it's born.