HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (CBS4) – More than 130,000 people tuned into The Animal Adventure Park’s question and answer session Wednesday night.
Millions have watched from all over the world, waiting for April the giraffe to give birth. Staff says the “baby is not overdue,” and “April is well within her birth window.”
Some viewers were concerned about April’s wellbeing, but chat moderators say “April is in no distress and [is] progressing just as expected.”
Zookeepers can’t give an exact date and time of birth, but say once delivery begins, it could take 30 minutes to an hour for the baby to arrive. Staff will undoubtedly be on hand, but “will not interfere with the birth unless there’s an emergency.”
Many asked whether the birth will be streamed live, which the Animal Adventure Park replied yes, and the feed will “stay up for a few days after the birth.”
The staff answered dozens of other questions in previous live chat sessions.
They added that the baby will stay with mom, with little to no interaction with dad, Oliver, until the baby is weaned off. At that point, officials say the baby will be moved in order to avoid the risk of inbreeding.
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.”