BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As of this writing, April the giraffe is still pregnant.
It is unclear if the owners of the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, knew that she was going to be such a hit when they first put up a live feed of her pen last month, but she is now a household name.
If you aren’t as familiar with April as some people are, here are some things to know about her (and giraffes in general):
- Her live feed first went up on Feb. 22, and at that time she was considered days — maybe even hours — away from giving birth (but we’re still waiting!)
- YouTube removed the feed early Feb. 23 after someone reported it was explicit and contained nudity, but it has since been restored. Jordan Patch, the zoo’s owner, blamed “a handful of extremists and animal rights activists” for interrupting the stream
- Once the newborn appears, the park will hold an online naming competition
- April is 15 years old, and this is her 4th calf
- The daddy, Oliver, is 5 years old, and this is his first calf (he can be seen in the pen next to April’s
- The baby giraffe will weigh around 150 pounds and will be 6 feet tall at birth
- Giraffes gestate for 15 months, almost twice as long as humans!
- Patch has told media outlets that the park determined the timeline of April’s delivery based on “witnessed mating behavior” between her and Oliver in October 2015, but they may not have conceived during the first cycle in which they mated. It may have been one of the following few, and each is 17 days apart
- The prongs on a giraffe’s head are called “ossicones”
- A giraffe tongue is about 18 to 20 inches long, and they use them to grab leaves
- Giraffes have 7 vertebrae (neck bones) – the same number as humans!
- Giraffes almost never lie down—they sleep and give birth standing up
- “Necking” is when two adult male giraffes spar by standing alongside each other and swing their heads at each other
- Giraffes communicate with one another by using infrasonic sound. They are considered “silent mammals” because of their infrequency of vocalization
- Giraffes are listed on the International Union of Conservation Nations Red List as “Vulnerable.” Their population has declined about 40% over the last 30 years
Still curious about April? Follow Animal Adventure Park on Facebook.
Here are some facts specific to the Maryland Zoo’s giraffe herd:
• Caesar, male. Born August 2006 at The Jacksonville Zoo. He is the tallest of the Maryland Zoo giraffes.
• Kesi, female. Born June 2010 at The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. She is the taller of the two darker females.
• Anuli, female. Born September 2012 at Utah’s Hogle Zoo. She’s almost as tall as Kesi now and her name means “daughter who brings happiness.”
• Juma, female. Born July 2012 at The North Carolina Zoo. She is the lightest and a now a first-time mother! Her name means “born on Friday.”
• Willow, female: born February 6, 2017! She is the first giraffe born at the Maryland Zoo in over 20 years. Her mother is Juma.
• Guests can feed the giraffe at the Giraffe Feeding Station daily (weather dependent).