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The Love Story Behind the World's Most Famous Giraffe Pregnancy

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

This story was originally published Feb. 27.

The pregnancy of New York giraffe April has captivated the world, with millions of people across the globe tuning into a live stream as she prepares for the birth of her fourth calf at an upstate zoo.

But what do we know of the relationship between April and her much younger beau Oliver?

On Monday morning, Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, outside Binghamton, revealed new details about the romance that led to the pregnancy, which has had the world enthralled for days.

It was no secret April was an older woman. At the ripe age of 15, the long-necked beauty has already had three calves to at least one other giraffe.

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But for Oliver, who is only 5 years old, this calf is his first.

The park said the two spotted lovers met when Oliver was just a young 3-year-old bull "coming of age." April was 13 at the time.

"The park thought it had only one cougar (LuLu), until April arrived," the zoo joked of the age difference.

A cougar is a term used to describe an older woman who dates younger men.

"Here we are, almost 1 1/2 years later, waiting for their family to grow by one," the zoo said.

It also shared a picture of the couple canoodling on its first meeting at the zoo.

oliver and april cropped
Animal Adventure Park
The long-necked lovers meet for the first time.

Despite his youth Oliver has showed his maturity, appearing supportive and nuzzling April through her pregnancy. He stood by her when the live stream of her pregnancy was taken down from YouTube after activists complained that she breached the platform's "nudity and sexual content" policies.

But the first-time father had to be separated from April as they frolicked outside Saturday afternoon because he got aggressive and wanted to "rough house."

According to veterinarians, bullish behavior is common for male giraffes during the final stages of pregnancy.

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"He does not want to play house -- he wants to ROUGH house," the park wrote in a Facebook post Saturday morning. "That is natural behavior as males take no part in rearing their young, nor have a need for a female once she is pregnant. Sad but true."

Viewers were concerned about the long-necked lovers' separation and questioned the vet's intentions until the zoo offered reassurance and told animal lovers to trust them.

As of Monday, April's pregnancy continued to be streamed online, with the zoo saying the expectant mother was doing well.

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