by Lily Harrison | Thu., Apr. 6, 2017 7:01 PM
Who's got four legs and a world audience? Why, April the Giraffe, of course.
If the name sounds familiar, you're in good company, and for those who haven't heard of the mammal yet, sit back and be prepared to ace your next water cooler chat.
It's what can only be described as the most anticipated pregnancy of the year, so it was only a matter of time before the conspiracy theories began.
Shortly after the video hit the web, the animal park hit its very first hurdle.
YouTube shut the stream down for a brief period after an onslaught of backlash over the teen mom (no, not that Teen Mom) video ensued.
Jordan Patch, owner of the Harpursville facility, explained in a Facebook video that a "handful of extremists and animal rights activists" claimed that the stream violated YouTube's nudity and sexual content policy.
"What this has done is pulled an education tool away from tens of millions of individuals. We're further harming the species of giraffes," he added.
Fans around the world didn't have to worry in the dark for too long, as YouTube restored the video and over 20 million people rejoiced in April's return.
But with great popularity comes great haters—that's how the old saying goes, right? Sure, there's no shortage of anticipation for the arrival of April's fourth calf in the very near future, but some fans have been wondering if there's something more sinister going on at the animal park.
Is this entire ruse about April giving birth a hoax? Is April even pregnant? Is the livestream showing us the real deal Holyfield? Those are just a few popular theories that are leaving skeptics scratching their heads over the adorable mammal.
We'll let you come to your own conclusions, but let's review the
sketchiest biggest chunks of evidence that conspiracy theorists are mulling over:
April Isn't Taking Visitors: Want to go see the newest YouTube star up-close and personal? Well, too bad, so sad. It turns out that Animal Adventure Park isn't even open to the public until May 13. Interesting ploy to drum up attention (and $$$) during off-season or just a coincidence?
April Doesn't Even Live at a Zoo: While, yes, she technically resides in an "interactive educational animal park," she isn't exactly calling a state park zoo her home. The attraction is privately owned and aims to "communicate an appreciation for living things through the use of the human senses," according to their website. It should be noted, however, that they are federally licensed by the USDA, "ensuring that our animals, their care, and facilities meet the same standards of zoos and aquariums in the US." E! News has confirmed their USDA licensing.
April Only Takes Cash: Think you can just stroll up to the scene with your green missing? That would be a hard no. According to the park's website, they are strictly cash only. But don't fret my pet, there's an ATM on site. Some Twitter fans suggest there's a perfectly good explanation for why the business would run cash-only, while others imply that the park is doing so to avoid having to pay bank transaction fees.
April's Livestream Is Fishy, Chapter 1: The park claims that the world is getting a front row seat to witness the countdown to April giving birth, but there's no real guarantee that's what we're watching, is there? The stream offers no time codes to ensure viewers that they're watching the pregnancy giraffe in real-time, leaving many to speculate about old footage being repurposed during random times.
April's Livestream Is Fishy, Chapter 2: We here at E! have been excitedly awaiting the arrival of the park's newest little family member(some of us more enthusiastically than others). In our seemingly never-ending birth watch, we've experienced different computers pull up different versions of the feed at the same time. If it's live, how does that work? It doesn't. But, hey, who knows, maybe it's a computer glitch…
April's Livestream Is Fishy, Chapter 3: For weeks on end, fans could chime in with short messages to April and the park owners, but that's no longer the case. The chat for the popular video has been disabled for the livestream after what we can only assume was an increase in speculation and negativity. That's a shame, too, because we bet April was living for the constant feedback from her fans.
April Hasn't Given Birth: At the end of the day, there's no newborn giraffe in sight. Since the livestream first began earlier this year, the park's owner has been hyping everyone into a code-level-red tizzy and doing his best to tell us that the calf's arrival is imminent. And yes, a giraffe's gestation period is roughly as long as a presidential term (err, 13-15 months, to be exact), but this journey with April has felt like a lifetime.
Let's hope for April's sake that the end is around the corner and the beginning of a beautiful new addition to her family is sooner than later. Let's also hope that there's nothing more to this animal saga than what meets the eye and that April and her soon-to-be-born calf will be kept healthy, happy and safe.
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