NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WRKN) — Those who have been keeping track of Nasha with the Baby Giraffe Cam have been searching for signs that she’s about to go into labor. News 2 spoke with Nikole Edmunds, a Hoofstock Keeper at the Nashville Zoo, about the things that could indicate Nasha is getting closer to giving birth to her calf.
Some of the signs that Nasha is near to giving birth aren’t easy to see on camera. “She’s been swelling for weeks, and it is progressing, and she is producing milk, and it has progressed rapidly over the past week and a half or so. So those are really good signs, but it’s hard for the viewers to see those things from the cameras.”
However, Edmunds told News 2 there are a few things to watch for on the Baby Giraffe Camera. If Nasha looks uncomfortable and sticks her tail out frequently, it can mean she’s about to go into labor. Another sign that labor may be happening soon is if this typically hungry giraffe stops eating.
“So, if you noticed that she hasn’t eaten, she hasn’t gone and gotten a bite of hay and a long time or grain or anything. That’s probably a pretty good sign.”
While giraffes do give birth standing up, the six-foot fall to the ground is not as dramatic as you may be imagining. Edmunds said this drop is necessary for clearing the fluid out of the calf’s lungs.
Another thing to watch for is Nasha “stepping” her calf. This is to get the calf moving and is a natural response. While it may look scary, it’s natural, and the steps are gentle.
While keepers can determine whether or not Nasha’s calf is healthy using ultrasound, they cannot determine the sex. We’ll have to wait until she gives birth to find out if it’s a boy or a girl.