Here's Why April The Giraffe Still Hasn't Given Birth
The #GiraffeWatch saga continues.
As we all know, the zookeepers at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY, have been keeping a live feed of their very pregnant giraffe, April, who was predicted to give birth in mid-February.
Well, it's mid-April, and the hundreds of thousands of people who still tune in daily are ready for this giraffe baby to be born -- so ready, in fact, that some began to speculate the entire ordeal was a hoax.
Well, it's not a hoax . Melissa McCartney, a giraffe expert with the Sacramento Zoo, has been working with giraffes for over 15 years, and told KCRA something no one wanted to hear: It's a waiting game.
She explained in more detail,
Giraffe pregnancy is similar to human, in that you have to expect something different from every mom. You can also expect that a first baby, a second baby, a third baby might look a lot different. A lot of first-time moms don't show as early, but a fifth-time mom may look a little bigger a lot faster. So, that could be one of the reasons.
The Animal Adventure Park is continuously updating their Facebook with more details about the changes in April's body, but McCartney reminded KCRA it's just really hard to guess because the margin of error is larger than humans.
Another thing is we're kind of really just estimating when a giraffe gets pregnant. And their gestation range is pretty big – 13 to 15 months. So there's a lot of play in there. You know, humans can go over their expected due date, they can come a little early — the same can happen in giraffes, but it's a much bigger range.
Another hinderance is the size of the animal. Not only are giraffes huge, but the average size of a newborn calf is six feet and over a hundred pounds. McCartney talked about just how hard managing that is. She said,
A giraffe has thick skin, a pretty compact body, it's a lot harder to find the baby when it's small. And once it gets big you're not going to see the whole baby because you're dealing with something that's 6 feet tall all balled up in there, so it can be harder to guess the age of the baby just with an ultrasound. When you get to the late stages, you do an ultrasound – you're going to find bone or heartbeat, things like that that tell you there's a baby in there. But trying to guess the age that way is a lot harder
So I guess we're stuck waiting around a little longer -- but keep up with the Animal Adventure Park updates on Facebook if you want to know when this baby finally comes.