What to Know
- April the pregnant giraffe is growing, as is her appetite, her keepers at a New York zoo say. She had a good, but active Friday night.
- A photo shared by the zoo shows April's rotund belly curving out and downward, a sign that she's nearing the home stretch of her pregnancy.
- April has captivated tens of millions of people across the world who have been checking in on her via the live stream
Keepers at an upstate New York zoo say that April the pregnant giraffe is growing, as is her appetite -- she's feeding a 6-foot, 150-pound calf, after all.
They say she had a good, but active Friday night and appeared to contract.
Watch the live stream below:
"April, as many of you observed, had a good night but very active," the zoo wrote in its daily update on Facebook. "We must remember a 6 [foot] 150 [pound] baby is performing acrobatic routines inside!"
The mom-to-be enjoyed munching on morning treats Saturday, the zoo said.
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A photo posted to the zoo's facebook page shows April's rotund belly curving out and downward, a sign that she's nearing the home stretch of her pregnancy, says owner Jordan Patch.
"She's progressing well in her pregnancy," he said. "She's not in any pain, things are good."
Nearly 68,000 people tuned in to watch the gentle giant Saturday morning as she gazed out her window and trotted around her pen, at times peering over the dividing fence to catch a glimpse of her mate, Oliver.
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The Harpursville zoo tantalized fans Thursday night, posting with excitement, "April is – without question – growing!” The zoo said keepers were able to “get hands on the belly” and “make contact” with April’s baby giraffe.
The zoo also said April appears “a little more on edge” and is “not being as lovely as usual.”
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Cold weather could shake things up for the expecting giraffe, the zoo said. But snow and ice mean no outside time for the long-necked beauty and her mate. That means more enrichment activities, training sessions and extra attention from the team, the zoo said.
April has captivated tens of millions of people across the world who have been checking in on her via the live stream in anticipation of the birth of her fourth calf. Patch 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.
April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines last week after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's live 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.
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Giraffe pregnancies last for 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Once April goes into active labor, zookeepers will go in to help her the rest of the way. The calf 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.