Pittsburgh Zookeeper Talks April The Giraffe, Internet’s Baby Animal Obsession

HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (KDKA) — Talk about lack of privacy! Millions of viewers watched live, streaming video as April, a mother giraffe, give birth to a long-necked baby boy. The “blessed event” took place Saturday at the Animal Adventure Park in New York state.

At the Pittsbugh Zoo, animal keeper Jesse Anna says it’s good news for a threatened species.

“In the 1800s, there was an estimated two million in the population. And the latest estimations are somewhere in the 80,000 – 90,000 range. So they’ve really dwindled.”

He admits that’s probably not what people were thinking when they followed April on the web.

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“I think it really is just a fascination with baby animals. They’re awfully cute, and everybody likes seeing them.”

Even the baby black rhino, recently introduced to Pittsburgh Zoo visitors, somehow manages to fit into that cute category. Springtime is the right time for the annual animal baby boom, both in zoos, and in the wild. But these days, those babies have a bigger audience than ever. Cameras have followed the progress of eagle chicks in Hays and Harmar, while “live falcon cam” keeps us updated on the peregrines nesting at Pitt Cathedral and the Gulf Tower.

Jesse Anna credits, “24-7 availability of, Hey what’s going on with that animal, and what’s new, is that baby born yet? It’s three days old, it’s growing, is it eating? It’s a really unique capability that’s starting to take off in all those different areas.”

If you wondered why April took so long to give birth – giraffes have a 15 month gestation period. She was right on schedule.

More from Dave Crawley

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