It was a beautiful Fall day in Cincinnati and Nikki was out walking around her exhibit and eating some of the fallen leaves. Just like in pregnant humans, Nikki has been walking to help promote a fast and easier labor. Her ability to exercise is more important than ever, now that it appears that she is feeling the effects of Relaxin hormone. Relaxin is a hormone that Nikki (and other pregnant animals) produce prior to birth that helps “relax” the pelvis in preparation for the big event. Each day, Nikki’s keepers and scientists observe how she looks and the effects of Relaxin have recently been noted. In addition, the ZVO’s have recorded that Nikki is drinking more water, another effect of Relaxin.
Knowing that Nikki is getting closer to birth, it is more important than ever that she can continue to do some exercise outside. When Nikki walks, her hips sway side to side and that helps position the calf correctly. Because she is due to give birth any day, her keepers watch over her when she is on exhibit. We Can’t Wait!