Animal watch: After April’s baby giraffe finally (finally!) arrives, check these cameras out
Poor April. Poor, poor April.
So pregnant, and with the world watching! She paces, she has the occasional nibble, she stands gazing into the middle distance, and a million viewers project what she must be thinking and/or feeling: The fathomless miracle of motherhood! The circle of life! That dope Oliver, as hapless a baby daddy as ever there was, who has to be separated from her because he is exhibiting bullish behavior.
Poor April. Poor, pregnant April, for now the world’s most famous giraffe.
(She even has her own website, aprilthegiraffe.com.)
Ever since staff at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, installed a live cam Feb. 22 to monitor 15-year-old April’s fourth pregnancy, giraffe baby watch has become an unexpected phenomenon.
On a recent morning, more than 60,000 people worldwide were watching the park’s YouTube live stream before 8 a.m. Several hours later, that number was up to 100,000.
According to the park’s veterinary staff, April should have reached the end of her 15-month pregnancy around the end of February, but as of Wednesday night she still was pregnant (point of fact: the Denver Zoo’s giraffe Kipele gave birth to a calf subsequently named Dobby on Feb. 28, which was unfortunately overshadowed by the April Pregnancy Saga even though Dobby IS THE CUTEST LITTLE MUFFIN IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE AIIIEEEEEE!!!!).
About a week and a half ago a pregnant human lady spoofed April by wearing a giraffe mask and parading around her bedroom, and even she has since delivered her baby.
Needless to say, it’s pins and needles out there, and not unusual to hear people ask each other, “Did April have her baby yet??” and everyone knows what this means.
Employers probably will be glad when April has her 150-pound calf, because it’s not unusual to hear of people — naming no names, of course — covertly checking in on April throughout the workday.
But the withdrawal once April actually does have her calf! Surely that, too, will affect productivity, with everyone bereft of a pregnant giraffe to watch.
Not to worry, though. The internet, as usual, delivers. Why, there are TONS of animals out there mostly sleeping or sitting around, and cameras to record their every non-move, including:
■ Everything happening at Animal Planet Live (apl.tv)
This includes a panda cam monitoring Mei Lun and Mei Huan, twin pandas at Zoo Atlanta, who are often lounging outside so viewers find themselves gazing at an empty room in hopes that those lazy things will wander by.
Surprisingly mesmerizing is a live cam on the Blacktip Reef Exhibit at the National Aquarium, especially when sharks swim by, and the sea otter cam (which happens in partnership with seaotter.com). It’s surprising what a time-suck otters sleeping in the ocean can be.
■ Every live cam at explore.org
Among the highlights is a cat cam at a Los Angeles animal sanctuary at which, on a recent afternoon, three of the cats were wearing dresses. There was no explanation given, because none was needed. Obviously.
There’s also a great horned owl cam beaming in from Charlo, Montana, and again, it’s surprising how many hours can slip by while an owl sleeps in its nest and the wind rustles its feathers. It’s much like the sheep barn cam coming from Watkins Glen, New York. The sheep mainly stand around and eat, but sometimes they sit down!
■ All the animal births on YouTube
Though they are not live cams, there are plenty of videos that demonstrate the miracle of life in all its somewhat grody glory. Just do a search for “animal births.”
Watch the birth of giraffe Kipenze at the Dallas Zoo in April 2015, but only with a box of tissues handy, knowing that he died three months later.
Happier is the birth of a white rhino calf, and the birth of a camel in Wales on May 23, 2012. Any woman who has had a baby will sympathize with the camel mother’s groans.
■ All the excellent live cams at the San Diego Zoo (animals.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams)
From these it’s quickly obvious that 1.) koalas are so cute when they sleep!!!! and 2.) elephant toddlers are just as gross and fascinated with poop as human toddlers.
It’s also possible to spend many quality minutes watching pandas adorably eat bamboo and water rippling in a pond, hoping a tiger will walk past.
■ The Jelly Cam at the Vancouver Aquarium (vanaqua.org/learn/see-and-learn/live-cams/jelly-cam)
This thing is so soothing that you’ll have to be careful not to leave your body entirely if you watch it too long.
■ The Goat Cam at goatslive.com
These goats live on a hobby farm owned by a retired couple and they (the goats) are just as dorky and awesome as goats can be. Also, they eat a lot.
■ The Sea Otter Cam at Monterey Bay Aquarium (montereybayaquarium.org/animals-and-experiences/live-web-cams)
If there’s anything more frolicsome and wonderful than an otter, well ... that thing doesn’t exist.
While you’re there, also check out the Kelp Forest Cam and the Open Sea Cam.
■ The Manatee Cam maintained by Save the Manatee (savethemanatee.org/savethemanateecam.html)
Granted, manatees don’t so much besides float around, but that IN NO WAY diminishes their luster.