April the Giraffe Experiencing 'Increased Swelling, Keepers on Their Toes, Zoo Says

Giraffe in Taronga Zoo

Giraffe in Taronga Zoo

Millions of people are watching a live feed showing April the giraffe giving birth to its fourth calf at an upstate NY zoo, but it seems they may have to wait a little longer despite the significant belly kicking.

Zookeepers said in a recorded video message that they were alerted to significant changes in the mother-to-be about 1 a.m.

There is no question of April leaving her quarters and mate Oliver.

On Wednesday, the vet suggested that some belly changes may suggest the calf is moving into the birthing position. The Animal Adventure Park, the zoo that houses April, posts regular labor updates on its Facebook page, which is followed by nearly 800,000 people.

"If not, she'll retire which means she'll go on to a contraceptive and we will not have her actively in the programme".

The keepers at Animal Adventure Park said Thursday night that April is experiencing more calf kicks and more swelling in her backend. When the calf is born, there will be a vote to determine his or her name. The park blamed the removal on animal rights activists who oppose zoos. Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention", he said.

April's fans have stayed loyal to the live stream, waiting for the big moment. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth - that's neat".

Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months.