Giraffes are pros and hiding their labor, but Patch explains there are certain signs he looks for that he believes are her contractions.
While viewers have expressed concern on social media about April being past her due date or in distress, there is no cause for alarm, according to April's veterinarian "Dr. Tim", who described exactly what people should not be worrying about, in a post shared April 2 on Facebook. When she sticks her tail straight out to form an arrow, however, she's just peeing.
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The park posted the following update Monday morning, noting "pushing contractions" that were observed by numerous thousands of people tuning in, waiting for the birth. Animals in captivity are often exposed to technology and devices before they are needed. The zoo hopes the births will highlight the plight on the endangered species. You will also see her do a few things including standing and staring off into space as well as stretching her neck and back legs. It's usually dropped into position and there's nowhere to go but out.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page covering April, the calf, and mate Oliver has raised $100,000 out of a goal of $50,000 and the park also received donations separately.
Dean said it's hard to tell exactly when April will go into labor because she doesn't have much information about her.
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Mom will naturally raise the calf on her own, and weaning could take between six to 10 months, maybe even longer - the zoo says it won't rush the process.
Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. (Just like 9 months with people). When she finally gives birth, her calf's front hooves will come out first, followed by the snout. Following that initial phase of birth, one hour to an hour and a half of labor continues, with the knees and heads coming next. The shoulders are the hardest part.
Keepers thought the baby would've been born this past weekend, the first weekend of April, and viewing numbers have regularly topped 200,000 at a time. The calf will weigh around 150 pounds and be approximately 6-feet-tall at birth.
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