HARPURSVILLE, NY — Waiting for birth can be a real pain in the neck – particularly when your neck is about 7-feet tall.
A livestream of an upstate New York zoo’s giraffe has captivated watchers since it went up Friday, but there’s still no sign 15-year-old April is about to go into labor.
When she does, the cameras positioned by Harpursville’s Animal Adventure Park will show the entire process. April’s fourth calf is likely to weigh around 150 pounds and measure close to six feet tall, according to the zoo.
The calf’s dad is a much younger giraffe – Oliver is only five years old and this is set to be his first offspring.
A giraffe pregnancy lasts 15 months.
Controversy briefly erupted when the live feed was taken down from YouTube because it reportedly violated the site’s nudity guidelines. Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch blamed that brief interruption on “a handful of extremists and animal rights activists” who labeled it sexually explicit.
“What this has done is pulled an educational tool away from tens of millions of individuals. … You have harmed the species’ survival more than you could ever recognize,” a zoo official said on a Facebook live video after the takedown.
The official seems to infer that these “extremists” are against giraffes being held in captivity.
“We’re all on the same team,” the official tells activists. “We want the best for these animals and would love to have them in their natural environment someday; but until we can protect their natural habitat and curb poaching, that is not going to happen.”
He then asserts that activists should instead donate to local charities that promote conservation.
April is doing “very well” and the labor process is going “just fine,” according to the zoo.
This will be the 15-year-old mom’s fourth calf, and a first for her mate Oliver.