April the giraffe's journey to the birth of her fourth calf hasn't been an easy one, even as she was oblivious to the fact that the rest of the world was cheering her on via a viral live feed of her pregnancy developments.
In fact, from humble beginnings, the owner of April's home had to defend the live streaming of her pregnancy and giving birth after complaints of the video as being sexually explicit led to its banning on YouTube.
Now, the controversies surrounding April and her home are set aside as she finally gave birth to a yet-to-be-named male calf on Saturday morning.
Giraffe Pregnancies Take Over A Year
One of the controversies that surrounded April's pregnancy was that it could possibly be a hoax, as she seems to be taking a long time to give birth. The fact is that giraffes actually do take a long time to give birth because their pregnancies can last for up to 15 months. April was already in her 13th month of gestation when the live feeds began.
Giraffes Give Birth Standing Up
Quite unlike humans who have a number of options when giving birth, giraffes usually give birth standing up, hence having their calves fall from a height of about five feet. Within the hour of birth, calves can already stand, and about ten hours into their new lives, they can already go running with their mothers.
They Have Only Seven Neck Bones
Yes, even though their necks are very long, giraffes have only seven neck bones — just like humans and many other mammals.
Giraffes Aren't Mute
Perhaps you never really thought about what sounds giraffes make as they are mostly silent, gentle creatures. However, research in recent years has found that giraffes do make humming sounds that they produce only at night time.
They Get Hydration From Leaves
Though they rarely drink, giraffes do get the much-needed hydration from the leaves of the plants that they eat. Using their long, sticky tongues, giraffes can reach through even thorny branches in order to get the nutrition and hydration that they need.
Giraffes Are Endangered
Unfortunately, the past 15 years haven't been good to giraffes, as their numbers have fallen significantly, adding them to the list of endangered species. They are hunted for their meat, coat, and tails that are used for good luck bracelets.
The live videos that began when April was 13 months onto her pregnancy were made in part to educate people about giraffe conservation.