April the Giraffe

Karly Halsey (12th), Reporter

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Over the course of the last fifteen months, a 15 year old giraffe named April, located at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, has been pregnant.

Because of this long pregnancy, many park attendees have been able to follow her pregnancy for quite some time. However, unfortunately for the visitors, the Animal Adventure Park is not open year-round and they are currently in their off-season portion of the year. As a result, the park decided to put up a livestream of April’s daily life leading up to the actual birth, so that those who were interested could stay updated.

Little did they know that this livestream would have millions of people constantly checking up on April to witness the birth of her fourth calf.

April’s calf’s expected due date was mid February, give or take some days. As it is now the final stretch of March, she could go into labor at any minute. However, because of giraffes natural instincts, it is very likely that if she goes into labor, she will hide it until the calf is actually coming out in order to keep predators from awaiting the birth.

At birth, the calf is expected to be about six feet tall, and weigh around 150 pounds. It will then be raised by its mother for around 6-10 months. To protect the genetics, he/she will then be placed into a separate facility to live due to the high risk of incest with giraffes. Unfortunately, the new calf will not spend much time with her father, as male giraffes naturally only care about three things; fighting, mating, and eating. None of which will concern his new baby.

Ultrasound equipment cannot tell the sex of the calf before birth, however once it is born and the gender is determined and released, Animal Adventure Park will hold a contest on their social media pages for the viewers to help name their new friend.

Despite the oddness of many people watching a live birth, there is actually some science behind it. Watching this majestic creature in her natural setting can actually be very therapeutic to viewers. It has been believed that witnessing animals go about their lives can help with relaxation and relieving anxiety. Similar to animal therapy, we often gain much emotional support from animals without actually realizing it.

 

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