WHEN WILL APRIL GIVE BIRTH?
Millions of people are waiting and watching around the country for the birth of a giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY. The soon to be mom's name is April and she is expected to give birth at any time. She appears to be calm and comfortable for now and even enjoys the company of others who help to care for her on a normal basis. April is use to humans which makes her more at ease than what is normal for this type of animal. Her delivery will be similar to a human's in the way that her water will break first and the calf could be born any time of the day or night. However it's less likely for a giraffe to have twins than it is for humans.
As the time nears, you can already see her tail standing more upright and away from her body. This is a sign that she is close. The average gestational period for a giraffe is 15 months. A new born calf is around 6 feet tall and 150 pounds. April will most likely give birth from a standing position. The calf is supposed to come out front feet first, then the head, followed by the shoulders and so on. The shoulders are the widest part of a calf. The calf will be about a foot from the ground before it lands on its front feet and most likely falls down, which is normal. The calf should only take about an hour from there before it's standing on its own. This is the natural process which then allows the calf to get milk from its mother as both of them are standing. A mother usually prefers to be away from the male and alone when giving birth. The delivery usually takes place without any human involvement. Just like it would in nature.
WHO'S THE FATHER?
The father's name is Oliver and he is not in the same pen with her, but is in the one next to her. This is because he could easily get wound up and want to play, unintentionally causing harm. The father doesn't help much with the raising of a calf and doesn't usually have just one partner during his lifespan. The average age of a giraffe is 25 years old. The most common diet is acacia leaves which are most common to their natural habitat. Their appetite decreases as they near giving birth. There are at least 7 species which are based on the coloring and pattern. April is of the Masai species. Others are Angolan, South African, Reticulated, Kordofan, Nubian and West African (Nigerian). Giraffes don't sleep much and when they do their heads almost always remain upright. This is a natural instinct which keeps them aware of their surroundings in the wild.
Watch the video with the assistant curator to the Denver Colorado Zoo.
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