HARPURSVILLE, New York — April the giraffe’s handlers said they had a long night on Wednesday, March 15th.
In a new update, posted to Facebook on Thursday, Animal Adventure Park officials said they “witnessed some very interesting behavior that had us on edge.”
On Thursday morning, however, park officials said April’s behavior had settled. She’ll continue to be monitored and watched throughout the day, as she has been for weeks.
Park officials plan to do a Facebook Live video at some point Thursday to answer questions from the many people around the world who have been keeping their eye on the soon-to-be mama giraffe.
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.