The world has been patiently waiting for April the giraffe to give birth for approximately the last 45 days or perhaps longer. The normal term for a giraffe’s gestation is 15 months, but February had come and gone and one long day stretched into another in anticipation of the new baby’s arrival. Hundreds of thousands each day witnessed on You Tube the live broadcast from Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York.
Local, national and international news stations began to report the progress. April was becoming perhaps the most famous giraffe in history. The Adventure Park’s Facebook page had daily morning and evening updates with pictures of her udders which show progression toward labor by the presence or absence of natural wax caps. At one point You Tube removed the live broadcast siting nudity as the reason (believe it or not). After requests from the viewers to contact them, the broadcast was soon back online.
April’s behavior had remained mostly calm and relaxed throughout the last few months until the last few days. Then the pacing began which is a sign labor is near. Waking up at just before 7 am central time, I went immediately to my laptop and was rewarded with both front hooves of the baby protruding under April’s tail. About 2 hours later he came plopping onto the ground and into the world with over 1 million viewers. With just a little nudging from his mother, the newborn was raising his head and very long neck and observing his new world. Mother and baby were left alone with staff watching close by. Curious father, Oliver, in the pen next to theirs looked on as well.
The vet came in when he felt it was safe with treats to entice April so he could look closely at the approximately 6 foot, 150 pound infant giraffe. He had not anticipated, however, how cranky she would be with an intruder upsetting their bonding. She not only kicked him once, but twice before he could ease out the pen door.
The Animal Adventure Park has had merchandise on sale since the beginning of their broadcast. Toys R US has been advertising on the live feed for the last several days. Today they changed the logo to Babies R US. Soon the site will announce their contest to name the newest member of their giraffe family. Have any ideas? Surf on over to their Facebook page.