HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (CBS4) – The Animal Adventure Park conducted a question and answer session Sunday evening, taking questions live on their YouTube Channel.
The feed went by so fast, with so many questions being asked of the nearly 100,000 people watching the feed, that it was almost impossible to keep up. We grabbed the highlights, though, for an update on April.
The biggest question is when is April going to give birth?
“Our vet is a vet,” the Animal Adventure Park responded. “Not a psychic. … But boy are we close.”
Another question comes from the conspiracy theory that April, in fact, isn’t even pregnant.
But, “just look at that huge belly!”
Priority was given to questions from people who also made a donation, because “it costs over $50,000 per year to house them. … “a bale of bedding is about $5, a bale of hay $4, and a bag of feed $40.”
And a pregnant April is certainly eating more: “her diet is herbivore, plus a pellet for preggo moms.”
Since the park’s live cam came online, another frequently asked question is what would happen if something went wrong, would staff be on hand to help April?
“We have staff constantly on site with her and a phone tree system for when the signal goes up,” the park responded. Most births, they say, “are at dawn but all are different.”
This is the park’s first baby giraffe delivery, April’s other babies being delivered at other locations. Unfortunately there’s no way for them to know where the others are now.
And finally, why is the father, Oliver, being kept together yet separate from April?
“They are together simply because to isolate them would cause further stress. … They are both pretty well behaved, but I once tangoed with Oliver in the yard and that was the last time for that.”
As it says below in their frequently asked questions, Oliver, is a bull is a bull is a bull, and he, like any giraffe fathers, takes no part in rearing the calf.
FAQs from Animal Adventure Park’s YouTube Channel:
THINGS TO KNOW:
April is 15 – her 4th calf
April has never lost a calf nor had a stillborn – odd rumor
Oliver is 5 – his 1st calf
They have some of the biggest pens in the nation (sq ft per animal). We take pride in our indoor housing and the level of enrichment and care to keep them happy and healthy.
The calf will weigh around 150lb and will be about 6′ tall at birth.
The front hooves will come out first followed by the snout.
Mom will naturally raise the calf, with weaning could take between 6-10 months, maybe longer. We will not rush this process – it is just a documented range of captive weaning.
Once the calf is born, we will have a contest to name it.
The keepers will go in with April, clean her pen, give her treats (but not Oliver). He is a bull – and a bull is a bull is a bull!
Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months
Upon naturally weaning, the calf will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there. We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species.
Those “things” on their heads are called ossicones.
Bulls (male giraffes) only really care about two things- fighting and the unmentionable….
Oliver may share space with April, but for short periods. Bulls take no part in rearing young.
They eat hay and specialized giraffe diet but love romaine lettuce and carrot treats.
April’s water source, enrichment, and solo hay feeder are out of sight of the camera view.
This is Animal Adventure’s first giraffe calf.
The Animal Adventure Park set up a GoFundMe account for those wishing to donate to help out the giraffe “family fund.”