April the giraffe close to giving birth, countdown to new calf begins, zoo says

Posted at 11:23 AM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 11:37:15-04

HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. — April the giraffe could be hours away from finally giving birth.

Animal Adventure Park said Wednesday morning while it’s not confirming any “active labor,” April has some discharge that “would suggest the countdown to calf has begun.”

April may give birth within hours or days, the zoo said. The veterinarian and officials are on call in case the calf comes earlier than expected.

“Mammary development is on point,” the zoo said in a Facebook post, as the udder continues to fill.

“Giraffes do not ‘bag up’ with a full udder in the sense of a cow, dog, goat, sow. Their udder is very subtle and tucked between the legs. The development occurs, generally, just prior to birthing,” the zoo said in a post on Tuesday.

On Monday, the zoo said April’s growing belly had become still, indicating a possible “calm before the storm.”

When April goes into labor, the birth could happen in 30 to 60 minutes.

At birth, the calf will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall, according to the zoo.

“Within an hour, we want to see baby on its feet. Yes, baby will stumble, fall, and face plant – but it is all part of the process and we cannot intervene,” the zoo said.

Zoo officials will not be assisting the birth or be in the stall when it happens.

This will be April’s fourth calf and the first for the father, Oliver.