"With normal routine returning of warm temps and yard time, coupled with the thought that a natural light cycle of the dusk and dawn type may help entice/speed up our labor, you will see us change our treat time and lights out routine to earlier in the day. When exactly? Depends on quite a bit...so keep watching!"
On Monday morning, April's handlers said many people noticed what appeared to be "pushing contractions" throughout the night, and these were documented by April's veterinarian and team. They said April's pregnancy continues to progress normally.
Officials at Animal Adventure Park said Monday there are no signs of discomfort evident, and April is not in distress.
Over the weekend, officials launched a text alert system, and on Monday, they announced the "initial gender reveal" will be made via the new text alert system as soon as the gender is observed post-birth. We're told this will be "hours in advance of the media press releases."
CLICK HERE if you'd like to subscribe to the text alert system. NOTE: There is a fee associated with this text alert system.
On Sunday morning, zoo officials said they hoped some "yard time" Sunday would "shake things up," but while Oliver did enjoy some time outside, April chose to enjoy the sunshine and air from her doorway.
On Sunday evening, April's handlers shared an update from Dr. Tim, April's veterinarians, who answered some questions:
"So the timeline for my 24-48 hour prediction is rapidly coming to an end. Not surprising is the fact that we still have no calf and we still don't have a giraffe in labor! Pretty much all of her clinical signs from a couple days ago are still true. She just isn't quite ready to give the world what it wants.
To answer a few question I have seen on the web in various places: no, she isn't late. No, she isn't overdue. No, I'm not concerned she is "taking so long," nor should you be. Yes -- she remains happy and comfortable (considering the circumstances). Yes, she will have this calf when she is good and ready. No, public outcry won't change that. No, I cannot induce her, nor should we want to -- those are human constructs which don't apply to large wild animals and only endanger the life of April and her calf. Yes, it will be awesome when the calf arrives. No, watching after April is not my only job. Yes, we have been watching her for a very long time. Enjoy the <free> show people. Get more popcorn.
You all know how much I love to be wrong about my predictions, but such is life. I'll keep all posted and will let you know when the baby is on its way. It really shouldn't be much longer, I'm just not going to tell you my guesstimate anymore.
There you have it! It's a matter of time! We watch and wait...still."
Below are some things to know about April, courtesy Animal Adventure Park:
April is 15. This will be her fourth calf. April has never lost a calf nor had a stillborn. Oliver, April’s partner is five. This will be his first calf.
The giraffes have some of the biggest pens in the nation (square foot per animal). Animal Adventure Park takes pride in their indoor housing and the level of enrichment and care to keep the giraffes happy and healthy.
The calf will weigh around 150 pounds and will be about 6 feet tall at birth. The front hooves will come out first followed by the snout.
Mom will naturally raise the calf. Weaning could take between 6-10 months, maybe longer. Animal Adventure Park officials will not rush this process. It is just a documented range of captive weaning.
Once the calf is born, there will be a contest to name it.
The keepers will go in with April occasionally to clean her pen and give her treats (but not Oliver). He is a bull – and a bull is a bull is a bull, officials said.
Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months.
Upon naturally weaning, the calf will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there. Animal Adventure Park officials 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.
The giraffes eat hay and a 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 will be Animal Adventure Park’s first giraffe calf.