4/13. Morning Update
She is “out of it” were keepers comments this morning; noting distracted behavior versus her normal inquisitive, treat begging, self. Significant bulging of the belly also noted.
Backend slightly damp but nothing to get excited about yet. We are still observing light discharge on a daily basis.
Cool morning temperatures will delay yard time, but this afternoon we expect to do a Q&A session from the giraffe deck with Oliver.
We haven’t done a Q&A in a bit of time.
So, please submit questions you may have in the comments of this post and we will address some of them!
We welcomed a muntjac deer fawn yesterday!
This tiny little critter is by far one of the cutest offspring we’ve observed. Pictures will post once mom and baby settle in.
Giraffe Factoid: the Buffet line starts here
Giraffes have been described as browsers. Unlike grazing (grass-eating) herbivores, which consume relatively uniform feeds, wild giraffe choose their diet from an assortment of foods that are very different in nutritive content. In captive management programs, fresh browse, quality hay, and Mazuri Wild Herbivore pellet diet, hits all of the nutritional needs of Giraffes to ensure a comfortable and increased longevity.
April the Giraffe Is still pregnant!
April, who’s 15 years old, is having the baby with Oliver, a 5-year-old giraffe, according to Animal Adventure. This is Oliver’s first calf, but April knows the drill – this will be her fourth.
According the zoo’s latest Facebook update:
4/12 Morning Update
All is well in the Giraffe Barn – doors are open and yard time has already begun! Physical body condition remains the same, comfort level has not changed, behavior is on point.
Today’s photo is of the udder, to show mammary development. For any hoaxers or #Fakenews stories questioning April and the pregnancy – a quick biology lesson – animals do not develop milk unless supporting a pregnancy. Furthermore – giraffes do not develop large udders like cattle etc, so to see this much development truly suggests calving in the near future.
Patience is a virtue! Remember, the Giraffe Cam was not set-up to capture an immediate birth – it was set-up to capture a process. Mind you, we did expect a calf sooner than this – but that is all part of the journey!
Giraffe Factoid: Giraffe Milk -Does a Body Good
A baby giraffe’s body! There was chatter at the beginning of the year about giraffe milk as a Super Food. We don’t know about that but what we can cite is; a study in 1962 (yes it’s old) showed that many vitamin levels in giraffe’s milk were the same as those in cow’s milk, but the levels of vitamin A, vitamin B12 and nicotinic acid were all higher in giraffe milk. Meanwhile, giraffe milk is much higher in fat than cow’s milk – 12.5 percent compared to 3.5 percent. All that fat might sound like a turnoff, but recent research has shown that higher levels of dairy fat can also lead to a lower risk of diabetes.
(Info from Giraffe Milk Is the Next Big Superfood That You Literally Cannot Buy: By Mike Pomranz | Jan 24 2017)
April has been pregnant for 15 months, the normal gestation time for a giraffe. When she finally gives birth, her calf’s front hooves will come out first, followed by the snout. He or she will weigh around 150lb and will stand at 6′ tall.
April will raise her calf naturally, and weaning could take between 6-10 months, maybe longer. Oliver, however, will not assist in raising the calf. Male giraffes, according to Animal Adventure Park, “only really care about two things- fighting and the unmentionable.”
So because of fears of inbreeding, the calf will be relocated to another facility once the weaning process is over.
Make sure to keep up with this live stream: Once the calf is born, Animal Adventure will have a contest to name the calf!