For more than a week, I, along with about a hundred thousand others across the country, have been glued to my computer watching a live stream of a pregnant giraffe named “April.”
I started keeping the browser window up on my computer both at home and at work as the zookeepers said she was nearing her due date.
I sat, glued to the screen, for hours into the night — certain it was about to happen any minute.
Guys, that was a week ago.
April’s due date has come and gone and there’s still no baby! I beginning to wonder if she’s even pregnant (how can you tell if a giraffe is pregnant?) or if this whole thing isn’t some massive prank.
Of course, she could just be taking her sweet time. I know when I was pregnant with my first son, Ben, I went two weeks past my due date, despite trying every labor-starting old wives tale I could find: Pineapple juice, spicy foods — I hiked Caesar’s Head because someone told me exercise would do the trick.
Even after labor was induced at the hospital (which was really fun by the way) he still didn’t show up until the next day.
But this isn’t April’s first calf, it’s her fourth — she’s an old pro at this by now. And she should have had ample time to prepare because I found out that giraffes are pregnant for 15 months.
Pregnant for more than a year … I couldn’t even imagine. That poor girl.
But, it gets worse. Whereas I struggled to bring a nine pound baby into the world, April’s calf is expected to weigh around 150 pounds and be six feet tall when it’s born.
150 pounds! Good Lord! No wonder she’s not in a rush …
But, in the meantime, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve become sort of obsessed with this giraffe and her journey towards motherhood. An obsession that I’m apparently not alone in because the live stream regularly shows thousands and thousands of people tuning in, posting questions to the keepers and suggesting names for the baby.
Most of the questions people ask are normal things like “how much hay does she eat?” and “how long will the baby stay with her?” but there are also a worrisome number of viewers that want to know when she’s going to “lay her egg.”
To be honest, I can’t tell if they’re joking or not …
At one point, the video was taken down by YouTube administrators after someone flagged it as having “inappropriate sexual content” — a ridiculous accusation given the subject matter. The stream was back up within a few hours following (what I assume) to be a dose of common sense.
I remember a few years ago the Greenville Zoo did a similar thing with their giraffe “Autumn.” I guess there’s just something about pregnant giraffes that seem to grab the nation’s attention.
Unfortunately for me, if April is anything like Autumn, I’m convinced she’ll wait until I’m out grocery shopping or asleep or something before she has it. Some little alarm will go off at the zoo that says “Hurry up! Kasie stepped away from the computer! Let’s get this show on the road before she gets back!”
I feel like I should be carrying a beeper or something so they can page me when it’s “time” because I have devoted so much time into this, if I miss it — I’m going to lose my mind.
On a side note, if anyone from Animal Adventure Park happens to be reading this: “Kasie” is a great name for a baby giraffe.
Just sayin’ …
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at [email protected] Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.