Animal park awaits birth of baby giraffe

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HARPURSVILLE, NY (WCMH) – A New York petting zoo is sharing the joy as they are expecting a baby giraffe to be born.

The Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York is live-streaming as their 15-year-old giraffe, April and her mate, Oliver welcome their baby.

On Monday, March 20, April’s zookeepers reported that the calf has been moving and sticking out. A photo accompanied the update on the Animal Adventure Park’s Facebook page. In the photo, you can see a definite lump on April’s round side. “Keeper report is “holy smokes” baby is sticking out. It is very evident in visual observations that the calf is moving up and sticking out! All are happy with progress, we are not in labor at this time,” said the Facebook post.

On Tuesday, March 14, April’s zookeepers reported that the baby was very active. A blizzard brought a lot of snow to the Harpursville, NY area where the zoo is located.

On Sunday, March 12, zoo officials said there was significant movement from the baby in April’s belly.

On Monday, March 6, April’s belly appeared to be larger and she was stealing hay from her mate, Oliver.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28,  April and her mate Oliver got to spend time together outside. The park reports that there is not much change in April’s physical appearance. She is carrying the baby a bit higher and tighter.

On Monday, Feb. 27, the park said that April is not yet labor. April’s condition remains the same. Her baby continues to move and the baby’s kicks are noticeably obvious. April laid down for a while, which helps her get the calf get into a more comfortable position. April will likely get to go outside on Monday because temperatures are warming up a bit.

On Monday, the park shared an adorable photo on Facebook that showed the first time that Oliver and April met, which was about 1 & 1/2 years ago. Now, they are expecting a baby!

2/27 Morning Update:Keeper's report is all is well in the barn. April is eating breakfast this morning and body…

Posted by Animal Adventure Park on Monday, February 27, 2017

On Saturday morning, the park released a statement on April’s condition, reporting increased belly movement and the continued shedding of wax caps on the giraffe’s teats.  :

Jordan Patch, the owner of the park told Spectrum News that April is in the last stage of her pregnancy.

Giraffes have a 15-month gestation period, according to Patch. When the baby is born it will likely stand around six feet tall and weigh around 150 pounds.

As of Friday, February 24, the baby had not been born yet.

“We cannot confirm active labor at this time, however giraffes hide their signs as a natural instinct, that is why until we see hooves we will not announce active labor. Behavior is on point, mammary development is perfect! We are just waiting for the calf!” said The Animal Adventure Park said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

The baby is expected to be born sometime in the next few days.

“Process can take a few hours or a day or so — once hooves appear it will be 60 minutes before it’s out and on the ground,” Patch told NBC4.

According to CNBC, giraffe populations have been rapidly decimated across Africa and the species is threatened with extinction.

Giraffes were moved from Least Concern list to the Vulnerable list by the IUCN due to a dramatic 36-40% decline from approximately 151,702-163,452 individuals in 1985 to 97,562 in 2015.

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The group cited Illegal hunting, habitat loss and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, increasing human-wildlife conflict, and civil unrest as reasons pushing the species towards extinction. Of the nine subspecies of giraffe, three have increasing populations, whilst five have decreasing populations and one is stable, according to the IUCN.

Patch told Spectrum News that he believes the giraffe born at the Animal Adventure Park will be important for the continued viability of the species.

Facts about the giraffes shared by the Adventure Animal Park:

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