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Animal Adventure Park Baby Watch: April the Giraffe Could Be Hours Away From Labor, Countdown to Calf Begins!

Mar 29, 2017 02:15 PM EDT

The long wait might soon be over as Animal Adventure Park in New York announced just hours ago that April the Giraffe could be giving birth soon.

According to the park's latest Facebook update, April the Giraffe's mammary development continues to progress. In a previous post on March 28, Animal Adventure Park explained that just before giving birth, giraffes' udders continue to fill up. But unlike cows and dogs who "bag up" before labor, giraffes' udders are " very subtle and tucked between the legs."

Despite the positive signs, Animal Adventure Park is not confirming anything at the moment, but park staff and a veterinarian are already on standby in case April the Giraffe goes into labor.

“We will not confirm active labor, but we do have discharge that would suggest the count down [sic] to calf has begun! Our team and vet are on standby. We could be hours away or days – so do not stop your day – but certainly don’t stop watching!" the animal park wrote on Facebook.

For weeks, April the Giraffe has continued to excite (and frustrate) the public. The giraffe's labor date, which was estimated to be mid-February, has been an anticipated one. In fact, a live stream was posted by the zoo to give baby watchers a firsthand view inside April's cage (watch the Animal Adventure Park Giraffe Cam below).

Jordan Patch, the owner of Animal Adventure Park, said in an interview with KVUE ABC that giraffes tend to hide signs of labor to avoid predators. This means that it'll be hard to tell if April the Giraffe is already contracting, and the only confirmation we'll see are actual hooves coming out of her rear.

Animal Adventure Park said that April the Giraffe's calf could be delivered quickly, within 30 to 60 minutes and will be 150 lbs and 6 feet tall. Upon giving birth, the calf will naturally fall from the mother's rear and must stand on its own feet without any human intervention. The park expects the baby to be nursed by April in the next 60 to 120 minutes after delivery.

Giraffes' gestation period lasts for around 15 months. April the Giraffe will wean her calf for six to 10 months before it will be moved to another facility to avoid incestuous mating. Regarding the calf's gender, Animal Adventure Park said their ultrasound equipment could not determine if April the Giraffe will be having a boy or a girl.

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