Pregnant Giraffe in Zoo Live Stream Continues to Draw in Droves of Fans - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Pregnant Giraffe in Zoo Live Stream Continues to Draw in Droves of Fans

Labor for giraffes can last up to a few days

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    NEWSLETTERS

    STATUS CHECK: April the Giraffe Getting Restless as Birth Nears

    The 15-year-old giraffe named "April" who has captivated millions of people across the world in a live stream as she prepares for the birth of her fourth calf at an upstate New York zoo is still pregnant and doing well as her legions of fans continue to check in. 

    Throngs of admirers have been closely watching the live stream of April's pen as they await the birth of her baby giraffe. Some 42,000 people were tuned in to the stream before dawn Tuesday. 

    Veterinarians with the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, outside Binghamton, said Tuesday morning April "had a good night and is as large as ever." 

    "Activity remains normal, behavior normal," the zoo said on Facebook. "Yard time will be granted this morning once temperatures rise to a safe level."

    The zoo said the in-utero calf continues to kick up a storm. The happy and healthy mother-to-be has also started to produce milk and shed a few droplets during a weekend examination.

    April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines earlier Thursday after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's live stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so. 

    More than 30 million people across the globe have tuned in over the last few days to watch it. You can check out the live stream above.

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    Giraffe pregnancies can take 15 months, and labor can last up to a few days.

    The spotted beauty was up early Monday morning eating a late night snack and circling her pen. On Sunday morning, she had gazed into the camera, wiggling her ears as she chewed her breakfast. The zoo said the giraffes will stay inside due to the extreme temperature drop and wet or frozen conditions.

    "Rest assured, they receive extra enrichment and extra attention on days they do not venture out," the zoo said. "A little extra bonding time!"

    April has been slinking gracefully around her hay-laden home in no apparent distress. Once she goes into active labor, zoo officials say the keepers will go in to help her.

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    She and the first-time father, 5-year-old Oliver, had to be separated from each other while they frolicked outside Saturday afternoon because he got aggressive and wanted to rough house. According to vets, bullish behavior is common for male giraffes during the final stages of pregnancy.

    "He does not want to play house -- he wants to ROUGH house," the park wrote in a Facebook post Saturday morning. "That is natural behavior as males take no part in rearing their young, nor have a need for a female once she is pregnant. Sad but true."

    Viewers were concerned about the long-necked lovers' separation and questioned the vet's intentions until the zoo offered reassurance and told animal lovers to trust them.

    Not much changed over the weekend: April alternated between standing still, swinging her tail, drinking water and slowly circling her pen. At one point Saturday afternoon, the calf could be seen kicking around in her belly.

    Giraffe pregnancies last for 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

    The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.