Is it any wonder why the world is entranced by April the giraffe?
Published 10:59 am Monday, March 6, 2017
Sitting and browsing through Facebook about two weeks ago, a friend posted a link that caught my attention.
“Pregnant giraffe about to give birth!”
So I clicked.
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Two weeks or so later, I’m still clicking. I click about three to four times a day. I have no problem admitting it — I’m addicted to watching April the giraffe.
Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York put up a live feed about three weeks ago. April and her mate, Oliver, had developed a fan base close to home and the park thought it would be fun to put up a live feed of April as she neared her due date. Then media caught wind of it and by the fourth day, the YouTube link had 70K people watching.
I know this because I was one of them. With the headline claiming April was about to give birth “any moment,” I stared at the live feed for hours. I messaged my family members and some of them started watching. I posted the link on my own Facebook page and discovered many friends were also entranced by this gorgeous creature.
Apparently, the park was off on April’s due date and as I write this on Sunday afternoon, poor April is very pregnant — but alas, still pregnant.
I’ve learned more about giraffes than I ever thought I’d know, or want to know. I now know they give birth standing up and often hide the signs of labor as to not alert predators. Active birth is generally not “called” until the calf’s hooves are visible. Giraffes come out hooves first, then their head, then the rest of them and can often weight about 150 pounds and stand 5 feet tall at birth.
That’s a big baby.
Now it’s hard to read Facebook and not see April the Giraffe memes, joking about the world waiting in suspense. Most of us April watchers often use the hashtag, #GiraffeWatch2017 to talk about how we’re all still watching, and waiting.
I stated at the screen sometimes, just smiling. Her big, beautiful eyes are mesmerizing and watching her with her caretakers is a sheer joy.
Joy. That’s what all this is about.
Joy. Life. Hope. Beauty. Togetherness.
April has no idea what she’s done, but she’s managed to bring the world together during a time when it seems we are so very far apart from each other.
There’s been some politics involved. The YouTube feed was canceled early on for an hour or so after YouTube received reports against the film from people against zoos or animal in captivity.
Poor April knows nothing about any of that. She lives at the zoo and is going to have a baby and no matter anyone’s views on zoos, that won’t change anything for April right now.
The majority of her hundreds of thousands of viewers are simply watching something that is pure, natural and amazing, free from ugliness and pettiness.
I pray all goes smooth for April as she welcomes her calf into the world and hopefully, I’ll be watching it as it happens.
Alyssa Schnugg is Senior Writer at the Oxford Eagle. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.