5 things to know about giraffe births

1:52 p.m Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 Atlanta Life

At any given time, there are more than 100,000 people watching the Animal Adventure Park’s live feed of April the giraffe, anxiously awaiting the birth of her baby.

April first made news Thursday when YouTube briefly removed the live feed due to “nudity and sexual content.”

The internet has been hooked for nearly a week now waiting for the 15-year-old April to deliver.

To pass the time, here are five facts about giraffe births — and April’s pregnancy — you might not have known.

The average gestation period for a giraffe is 15 months, or 453-464 days, according to Animal Planet.

A baby giraffe is called a calf. Like cattle, the mother is a cow, and the father is a bull. At birth, the calf will weigh 100-150 pounds and be about 6 feet tall.

This was frequently asked of the Animal Adventures staff. According to a Facebook post, Oliver “does not want to play house — he wants to ROUGH house. That is natural behavior as males take no part in rearing their young, nor have a need for a female once she is pregnant.”

According to Animal Planet, giraffes give birth standing up. The calf will fall 6 feet, with hooves and head first. The fall breaks the amniotic sac, severs the umbilical cord and encourages the calf to take its first breaths. After the calf drops to the ground, the mother will clean it. A few minutes later, the calf will attempt its first steps.

A giraffe calf will begin nursing as soon as it stands. It will continue for nine to 12 months, even though it will begin eating leaves at 4 months old. 

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