Philadelphia News & Search
Devoted fans of April the giraffe lost their link to her on Friday when her round-the-clock live stream went dark — but it turns out she’s coming back this week for a limited engagement.
Animal Adventure Park’s “Giraffe Cam” was turned off at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday, almost two months after the pregnant giraffe was catapulted onto the world stage.
But this weekend, the Harpursville, New York, zoo she calls home said her withdrawal from public life was only temporary.
“The Giraffe Cam is not gone forever! This week we will announce viewing day/times for you to check in and watch progress!” the zoo said in a Facebook post Sunday morning.
Since late February, April’s daily eating, sleeping, strolling, camera-licking and tail-flicking was broadcast to a loyal and adoring audience waiting in anticipation to see her deliver her fourth calf.
After a patient wait, the male calf was born earlier this month, to the delight of a global live audience that has sometimes numbered in the tens of millions.
Animal Adventure Park is offering the public a chance to give him a name at nameaprilscalf.com, where anyone who wants to vote on a name can do so for $1 per vote. There is a five-vote minimum, and people can vote as many times as they want.
The zoo said Sunday that the first round of results from the naming contest would be revealed early this week, with a winner tentatively scheduled for May 1.
Funds raised will be split between the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Ava’s Little Heroes and Animal Adventure Park.
April’s little calf stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds, Animal Adventure Park reports.
“All is well and baby continues to grow, he is now looking us in the eyes!” they said Sunday.
April, 15, teased her millions of global adorers for weeks before he was born, showing signs of near-but-not-quite labor and enchanting her audience with cute right-at-the-camera gazes and tongue flicks, snack noshing and nuzzling with her much younger 5-year-old beau Oliver.
April’s pregnancy was originally vaulted into global headlines in late February after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo’s live stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site’s policies concerning “nudity and sexual content.” Thousands upon thousands of social media users voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.
Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch said the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process was a huge factor in drawing crowds.
“I think the fact that she’s a giraffe and she’s a neat species that people are interested in, that’s fostered a lot of the attention,” he said. “The fact that you’ll get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don’t get to see give birth — that’s neat.”
He added that April’s pregnancy was more than just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education.
Philadelphia News & Search