April, the giraffe that has captivated the world after a YouTube incident last month, appears to have gone into labor. If she gives birth, her now-famous calf will be born in the same month as its mother’s name.
The soon-to-be-mother has given false birthing alarms since she was catapulted to fame. The live stream went down on Saturday morning, but the Animal Adventure Park in upstate New York insisted that it was not an April Fools’ Day joke. Close to 240,000 people watched for what may possibly be the most-anticipated giraffe birth in history, as April paced her pen.
The 15-year-old giraffe’s pregnancy was thrust into the limelight when YouTube pulled the Animal Adventure Park live streaming off its channel due to some complaints from animal activists regarding “nudity and sexual content.” Thousands of frustrated viewers made their displeasure known, and the video feed was restored within an hour, NBCDFW reports.
April has already been pregnant for longer than her keepers at the zoo have anticipated. The zoo wrote on Friday morning that “all observations, behavior and predictions suggest a calf today or tonight.”
“We would be shocked to get through the weekend without our newest addition,” the zoo said.
The staff have been onsite with April all morning, Dr. Tim was called and onsite within minutes. This is what we have all been waiting for!
This would be April’s fourth calf, but her mate Oliver’s first. When the calf comes out, April will naturally raise it on her own, and will wean the baby giraffe for up to 10 months. Once weaned, the calf will be moved to a separate facility to discourage mating between related giraffes. “We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species,” the zoo said.
Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, said that the big draw towards April is that there is a natural curiosity regarding how baby giraffes are born. He added that the live stream is not for mere entertainment, but also serves to educate people on giraffes, and on animals in general.
The park intends to hold an online contest to name April’s calf once it’s born.