Forget April, the Audubon Nature Institute has three pregnant giraffes

Updated: Dec. 29, 2017 at 12:14 PM CST
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(WVUE) - They may not go viral in the way of April the giraffe earlier this year, but three pregnant giraffes at an Audubon Zoo facility in New Orleans are big news in the zoo world.

The giraffes are housed at the Audubon Species Survival Center in a remote spot along the Mississippi River in Algiers, a joint venture between the Audubon Nature Institute and San Diego Zoo Global.

"I was hoping we were going to have a Christmas baby, but not quite," said Michelle Hatwood, curator at the Species Survival Center.

Hatwood said it is difficult to know when the first of the giraffes will give birth since their gestation period runs 14-16 months and the giraffe arrived at the facility pregnant.

"She's been kind of teasing me since Thanksgiving whether she's going to have it or not," Hatwood said.

Earlier this year, the New Orleans and San Diego zoos brought the first animals to their first-of-its-kind joint venture, which they have dubbed the Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife.

It aims to breed animals for zoo populations, including some critically endangered species such as the mountain bongo.

Recently, a female baby bongo became the first resident born at the facility.

April, a giraffe at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, went viral earlier this year with a live stream of her pregnancy.  For 65 days, people around the world were glued to their computers and devices awaiting the baby.

Unfortunately, the births at the Audubon facility will apparently not be streamed live.  Hatwood explained the remote facility is new and lacks a reliable internet connection.

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