Any day now…
Despite being predicted to give birth sometime over the past month or so, April the Giraffe has yet to officially welcome her baby calf into the world as of Thursday afternoon.
With hundreds of thousands of viewers tuning into her livestream via Animal Adventure Park, everyone seems to be wondering the same thing: when is she going to go into labor??
Well, giraffe expert Melissa McCartney of the Sacramento Zoo says it’s really a waiting game:
“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.”
“Another thing is we’re kind of really just estimating when a giraffe gets pregnant. And their gestation range is pretty big ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ 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.”
Guess only time will tell then!
Unfortunately, it’s also difficult to perform accurate ultrasounds on giraffes because of their skin:
“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 ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ 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.”
Although April has yet to deliver her baby, the Animal Adventure Park did post a promising update on Facebook Thursday:
Hopefully she gives birth sooner rather than later! So long as everything is safe for mom and baby!
We can’t wait to meet her new addition!
[Image via Animal Adventure Park/Facebook.]