HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. – April the giraffe is in “great condition” Sunday as tens of thousands of curious onlookers wait and watch for her to welcome her fourth calf into the world at an upstate New York zoo.
April’s keepers spotted “significant baby/belly movement” at about 3 a.m. and again at 7 a.m. and her udders appear to be growing, if only subtly as giraffes do not “bag out” like cows, goats, pigs or other animals during lactation, the zoo said.
On Friday, April’s baby was captured “kicking out,” a hopeful sign.
“All physical signs show we are ready for ‘launch sequence,’” the zoo said in a March 11 Facebook update.
But as of Sunday afternoon, still no baby. It’ll be April’s fourth calf, and the first for her 5-year-old mate Oliver.
And the pair will have to stay inside their habitat as temperatures in Harpursville dip into dangerously cold single digits as a blizzard makes its way toward the East Coast.
The YouTube livestream has totaled more than 50 million views since it started in late February.
Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park in rural Harpursville, told The Associated Press the response to April’s pregnancy has been “overwhelming” for him and his four-member staff, who also care for about 200 other animals.
But Patch says the response on social media from people around the world has been a “resounding positive.”