What to Know
- Millions of people have been watching the stream in anticipation of the birth of "April" the giraffe's fourth calf
- Her story was vaulted into global headlines after activists complaining of "nudity" got the livestream yanked from YouTube
- The livestream was back online about an hour and a half after the brouhaha started
The 15-year-old giraffe named "April," who has captivated millions of people across the world as they watch a live stream in anxious anticipation of the birth of her fourth calf at an upstate New York zoo, is still pregnant and doing well.
Veterinarians with the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, outside Binghamton, said April's progression continues, but giraffes tend to hide signs of labor as a natural instinct, so they can't confirm active labor.
That said, vets checked in on her twice overnight and "physical posturing and other activity observed would suggest we are close," the group wrote on Facebook Friday morning. Around 8:30 a.m., the live stream actually showed significant movement in April's belly as the long-necked beauty began to walk outside.
Not much changed the day started coming to a close: April alternated between standing still, swinging her tail, and slowly circling her pen.
April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines earlier Thursday 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 commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.
More than 30 million people across the globe have tuned in over the last few days to watch it. You can check out the live stream above.
April was seen slinking gracefully around her hay-laden home Friday morning in no apparent distress. Once she goes into active labor, zoo officials say the keepers will go in to help her but first-time dad, 5-year-old Oliver, will be held out of the pen. The dad-to-be will get to go outside with his mate for some exercise Friday, zoo officials said, but they have to be kept apart.
"Her and Oliver will both enjoy yard time today, but are kept separate due to April's condition," the group wrote on Facebook. "His rambunctious play for an extended period could have negative effects. Boys will be boys."
Giraffe pregnancies last for 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour. The zoo says it will hold a contest to name it.