April the giraffe causing an internet frenzy
The possibility of April the giraffe finally having her calf increases.
Pates' Post Editor
A live feed has shown up on everyone’s timeline in the early weeks of February, attracting many viewers attention at first sight. This feed is unlike no other. Then again, when would someone ever have the opportunity to watch a pregnant, 15-year-old giraffe walking around her house all day, eagerly awaiting the birth of her child.
Yes, any average person may be wondering “why is it that everyone is so obsessed with watching a pregnant giraffe without sound?”
In the early days of February, a zoo in Tampa Bay, by the name of the Animal Adventure Park, launched a livestream on Youtube that was similar to the baby eagle hatchlings that took place last December. The livestream was temporarily reported and removed from Youtube due to a viewer making complaints for nudity. However, when the livestream came back, it struck up a huge controversy in the media, thus bringing April to a worldwide celebrity status for the time being. Some viewers are too tuned into this stream to the point of it being unhealthy.
“I’m malnourished, dehydrated, and my dog is turning fat because I just can’t stop watching and he’s being neglected. I know April’s bowel habits, I know how many spots she has, I know her routine. Please April for my own sanity have this baby soon,” said a Facebook user who has been watching April for a complete week straight.
This single giraffe has become so much of an attraction to such a diverse audience, that there is even a fan store where someone can find all things April on www.Aprilthegiraffe.com.
April is now a 15-year-old giraffe and is in the process of breeding her fourth calf. Her partner's name is Oliver and he is a four-year-old giraffe who is also awaiting the birth of his first calf. April and Oliver have been rooming together since park officials have been aware of her pregnancy. They are permitted to take time outside each day, and while Oliver happily goes outside, April stays inside with her child. Who would blame her though?
April has been pregnant for a total of 15 to 16 months which for a giraffe is slightly overdue. According to Animal Planet, the calf will be born and weigh about 150 pounds and will measure to be about 6 feet tall. Once April goes into active labor with her calf, it will be born within a half an hour to an hour. The front hooves will show out of her back end first, followed by the head of the calf. The baby should be walking within an hour after being welcomed into the new world.
Also when in active labor, April will have her calf standing up in her stall the same as any other giraffe would. This may not be an important piece of information to many, but to the trolls on this stream it is. A very out of the ordinary hashtag, “#TeamEgg” has made its appearance into the comment sections, on merchandise in the zoo’s store, and meme’s across the internet. This was all started by a teen who decided one day to cast out a witty line to show his sense of humor. This is when the hashtag was born.
“The egg movement even has multiple Facebook pages, one with more than 900 members called #TeamEgg (Giraffes DO Lay Eggs). It appears to have been started by a teen, of course,” said Mashable.com.
Viewers have shared their opinions in the comments about April’s pregnancy such as being concerned about how long it takes April to lay down to go to sleep every night, how her legs are turned inwards, and her tail sticks out which ultimately means she is continuing to push and have contractions.
However, some of the other comments have taken somewhat of a plot twist when it comes to this everlasting pregnancy. Many viewers have looked at information that leads towards this whole thing being a hoax. It did not help that the expected due date for the baby calf over the past week was March 31, or April Fool’s Day Eve. Also, the fact that the stream has a sudden “ToysRUs” Ad popping up in the bottom left corner does not help people believe that it is not a looped video.
“Zoo officials admitted that April was actually a male giraffe named Greg this entire time,” said Studentmoneysaver.com.
The stream had briefly went offline on Saturday morning, April 1, April Fool’s Day, which lead people to believe that this whole thing was an elaborate and well thought out joke. Of course, other websites and news sites are coming out with stories about their opinion on the whole thing. One of them has even progressed on the idea of the livestream going offline, claiming that the zoo had made a statement that they really never did.
UPDATE: Congratulations to April and Oliver on their new baby! April has successfully given birth to her baby calf on Saturday, April 15, at about 10 o’clock in the morning. The baby is healthy and so is the mother, both are doing fine. The Animal Adventure Park says that when the calf was born, he weighed 58.5 kilograms and is just under 1.8 meters tall. The baby had stood up about 45 minutes after being born. On Youtube, the replayed video of April going into active labor, was the second most viewed video for about 3 days after. Www.aprilthegiraffe.com is holding open donations on their site. All proceeds will go towards the happy family and help them in the future. Also, the website has opened a contest where viewers can name the baby calf. Each vote is one dollar and someone can vote up to five times per day.
The Freedom Forum is an award-winning high school publication at Freedom High School in the Bethlehem Area School District in Pennsylvania. The organization publishes approximately 8 issues per school year and reports on local, as well as world, events.