‘The World Waits on Edge’ as the pregnant giraffe ‘April’ becomes a web sensation


A month ago, Beyoncé smashed a Guinness World Record for most-liked picture on Instagram when she reported – with intimate, belly-bearing photographs – that she was pregnant.

It became one of the most obsessed-over, closely checked superstar pregnancies in recent memory. But now, it appears as if a mother-to-be in upstate New York might be close to upstaging her.

Her name is April, and she is a giraffe. Her house is in Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York.

Watching her get up, sit down, move left, move right, stand and sit down again would appear to be a lot less interesting than watching Beyoncé.

Still, a huge number of individuals have been viewing the zoo’s live video stream, night and day, as April goes about her business in her hay-strewn stall. Her mate, Oliver, lives in a nearby pen.

This sounds innocent enough.

But that didn’t stop somebody from complaining to YouTube that it was “sexually explicit” content with nudity, inciting YouTube to bring down the live stream on Feb. 23.

The park owner was incensed. In a video posted on the zoo’s Facebook page, Jordan Patch blamed “a handful of extremists and animal rights activists.”

In the 12 hours before it was evacuated, the live “giraffe cam” YouTube video stream had gotten more than 20 million views, Patch said. As is regularly the case, the censorship attracted headlines and just got more individuals interested in April.

The video stream was soon permitted back up, and now considerably more viewers are keenly awaiting April’s much-anticipated labor. She’s about a month late, Patch said in a Facebook update Wednesday. He included that the initial timeline for the birth – based on April’s breeding behavior – may have been slightly off.

“She’s large, she’s still in control, and no child yet,” the zoo said in the post. The giraffe had not experienced much physical change that day, but there was significant movement once again in the belly, and the moving toward cold front might “shake things up,” the post said.

“The world waits on edge … furthermore, April smiles with a mouthful of cud,” the zoo wrote in its post.

When born, the calf will weigh around 150 pounds, will be around 6 feet tall, and will leave its mom with its front hooves out initially, followed by its nose, as per the zoo. April will raise the calf for 6 to 10 months or longer before it is moved to another facility to begin a reproducing program there.

The zoo is accepting submissions for a naming contest for the calf but, Patch demanded, the challenge won’t be completed until the calf is born. “We’re somewhat superstitious,” Patch said. “You don’t depend on something that isn’t guaranteed.”

In the video posted Wednesday on Facebook, the park owner likewise exposed a few myths and addressed various concerns he had received from watchers. For instance, he stated, many live-streamers have been stressed over to what extent it takes for April to drop herself to sit down.

“Women out there,” Patch said. “If you’ve been nine months pregnant, and you’ve had to bend over and tie your shoes, it’s hard.”

He urged fans to continue watching April “if you have the time,” however included: “If you don’t have the time to watch the cam, don’t put your life on hold, and unquestionably don’t complain about your lack of time management anymore.”

One viewer commented on the zoo’s Facebook page that she had been viewing the giraffe for an entire week.

“I’m malnourished and got dried out … my pooch is turning fat because I just can’t stop viewing and he’s being neglected,” the Facebook client posted. “I know April’s bowel habits, I know what number of spots she has, I know her schedule. Please April for my own sanity have this infant soon.”

A Twitter and meme craze has taken off, with online networking clients embracing the hashtag #AprilTheGiraffe to revel in their anticipation.

The British performer Tom Hiddleston even portrayed April’s morning schedule for BBC Radio 1, describing her movements with a sensational, smooth voice reminiscent of a nature documentary.

“She’s going out for a walk around her room,” he said. “Look at that magnificent long neck.”

“She takes a bow,” he included. “She knows the world is viewing. It’s breakfast time.”

Even at 4 a.m. Thursday, while a lot of the Western hemisphere slept, more than 45,000 viewers remained tuned into April’s live stream, watching her slowly drift from one corner of her pen then onto the next, reaching her neck down to snatch a bit of hay and letting herself to take a seat in the center of the pen.

The pregnant giraffe gradually teetered to the ground before going to a seated position.

Alas, no labor yet. We would have to keep waiting.