HARPURSVILLE, NY (CBS4) – Animal Adventure Park workers who have been with April since the beginning have given us another update on her condition.
April is still proceeding well towards birth. A lot of belly movement was seen earlier Thursday, but mom and baby are both doing well.
Dad Oliver is also doing well. We’re told he is relaxed and very calm.
Many viewers noticed that April was licking her back end. Zoo officials say that’s a positive sign. When she goes into labor, there will be a lot of activity in her stall. The active delivery process, which does not start until hooves are seen emerging, will also be announced on Facebook and Twitter.
Workers also say they are not at all concerned about any aggressive or protective behavior from April. Giraffe mothers form nursery groups, so it’s expected that she will accept the workers as herd members for the birth.
April is expected to bear more giraffe young, unless there are birthing issues.
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.
Giraffe mothers form nursery groups, workers expect to be accepted as herd members during her labor.
The barn is heated, and the stalls are designed to naturally file the hooves. The zoo’s diet for the giraffes helps curb unnatural accelerated growth.
It’s not at all uncommon for a female giraffe to be much older than her mate. Young bulls overthrow older males all the time.
Pest control is in place. If a mouse or rodent sneaks in, it’s not a concern as their food is not accessible by rodents.
When active labor happens, there will be a lot of activity in the stall. It will also be announced on both Facebook and Twitter.
The Animal Adventure Park set up a GoFundMe account for those wishing to donate to help out the giraffe “family fund.”