Yes, you read that correctly! While most of the world has been anxiously awaiting the birth of April’s baby giraffe at Animal Adventure Park, the Pyongyang Circus out of North Korea has reported that not one, but two of their giraffes have given birth to healthy human babies who are slated to become circus performers by the time they reach working age.
The completed pregnancies, which involved the implantation of human embryos into two healthy adult giraffes, are a result of a successful inter-species in-vitro fertilization process undertaken by the North Korean cloning firm DPRKRCF last year.
Sources close to the program say it originally included elephants and goats, but those pregnancies were unsuccessful and ultimately terminated.
The astounding news comes on the heels of a similar remarkable breakthrough out of North Korea early last year. We learned that the DPRKRCP performed inter-species in-vitro fertilization of dead pets in human surrogates. This latest achievement confirms that North Korea continues to be on the forefront of biological advancement.
Scientists state that because the giraffe was acting as host to the human embryos, they opted to let the giraffes carry the embryos to full term for the long-necked ungulates, which is about 15 months. “One concern of ours was how the human embryos would develop beyond their typical maximum gestational age of about 280 days. We were prepared to induce at 280 days, but they continued to grow and thrive for nearly 450 days,” a scientist with DPRKRCP said.
Both the giraffes and the human fetuses that resided in their wombs were closely monitored throughout gestational duration. A variety of diagnostic medical sonography equipment was used, as well as blood tests and round-the-clock visual monitoring. The giraffes were kept stationary throughout the duration of their pregnancies. “They liked it,” the scientist said, quelling any concerns about their quality of life.
Just like the human surrogate who gave birth to a litter of puppies, the pain and discomfort associated with the birth process is said to have been minimal for the giraffes. A baby giraffe weighs about 150 pounds when it is born, while a full term baby weighs about 8 pounds. The human babies that were birthed by the giraffes were said to have weighed between 16-18 pounds, given they were about five months over term. “We don’t expect the giraffes felt much,” one of the scientists said.