WATCH LIVE: April the giraffe’s handlers report “significant change in body shape”
NEW YORK — April the giraffe’s handlers at Animal Adventure Park in New York on Thursday, April 6th reported “a significant change in April’s shape.”
Zookeepers said April’s body/belly is “much less beach balled,” and her “bulges have streamlined.” Officials said this could suggest “a new position” for the calf,” and said they’re hoping for “launch sequence!”
April’s handlers said Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” has been playing on repeat in their heads as they monitor April’s development. They noted that “of course the context is completely different, but no less obsessive in nature!”
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.