April the Giraffe's Baby Is 'Sticking Out,' But No Labor Yet, Zoo Says | NBC 7 San Diego
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April the Giraffe's Baby Is 'Sticking Out,' But No Labor Yet, Zoo Says

Tens of millions of people across the globe have tuned into the live stream in anticipation of the birth of April's fourth calf

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    April the giraffe's fourth calf is active and poking away at the pregnant animal's stomach. 

    According to the Animal Adventure Park, the upstate New York zoo live-streaming the end of the giraffe's now world-famous pregnancy, the baby is "moving up and sticking out."

    But does that mean we're close to what may now be the most anticipated calf birth of all time?

    Close, yes — but not yet there. 

    "Observation overnight peaked our interest a few times, but nothing to report just yet," the zoo posted in its Facebook update Monday morning. "No pressure April the Giraffe, but April the month isn't far away!"

    More than 75,000 people were tuned into the stream by 7:20 a.m. Monday. April appeared to be in good spirits as she was wagged her tail and wiggled her ears. By 1 p.m., more than 134,000 people were watching; April granted her adorers with a prolonged gaze at the camera before turning back to lunch.

    Watch the live stream below (NOTE: weather conditions may cause intermittent disruptions).

    Watching her move about her pen, it appears April has grown more restless and her belly even looks slightly bigger.

    The zoo says with temperatures warming up and the snow melting, April and her much younger mate, 5-year-old Oliver, will be moving outside soon. 

    April has had periods of edginess in recent weeks brought on by stretches of cold weather and her active calf, the zoo has said. 

    Nevertheless, April is in “great physical and mental condition,” and the vets who have been monitoring her say they’re pleased with her progress.

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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.

    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.

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    "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.

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