Local expert talks giraffe mating, birth, and conservation

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- April the giraffe didn’t eat a big lunch; her big belly is home to a calf, likely already around 150 pounds.

The expectant mom lives at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y., and could deliver any moment now.

Park owner Jordan Patch said staff is prepared, but until the baby is ready to come out, it’s really just business as usual.

“Giraffes come into the world actually by falling and dropping onto the ground,” said Hoofstock Team Leader at the Buffalo Zoo, Joe Hauser.

News 4 stopped by the Buffalo Zoo to check on the calves we welcomed in 2014 and 2015. They’re already nearly as tall as their moms, and mimic their personalities.

“Giraffes give birth while they’re standing up. And then when the calves are born they can already be six feet tall,” Hauser said.

Like Adventure Park, the Buffalo herd is monitored via a camera, but it’s not a public live stream.

April’s birth will be the first one Adventure Park streams live.

“It’s starting a dialogue, it’s starting a conversation. I can’t imagine what the traffic is on the Internet right now and not only for us, but just for giraffe information in general. That’s the whole point. We’re creating awareness,” Patch told News 4 via phone Monday.

The YouTube channel for April’s live stream was briefly taken down after some complaints the feed was inappropriate, but it’s now back up.

The 15-month pregnancies of giraffes can end in a labor that lasts from a couple hours to an entire day.

Buffalo’s breeding has been 100 percent successful so far; it’s something zoos count on to keep this species around.

“Out in the wild, some of these animals are extremely rare. So Mokie, our adult male, he is a Northern Giraffe, so there’s about 1,500 of them left out in the wild,” Hauser explained.

The Buffalo Zoo is open year round from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here to see April’s live stream

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