April the Giraffe is finally having her baby after weeks of waiting and watching, and now there’s another big question — what will the baby’s name be?
The Animal Adventure Park giraffe has been in the spotlight since late February when a live video feed started to keep track of when she would give birth. It ended up taking more than a month and a half, but on Saturday morning, April the Giraffe finally went into active labor to have her baby. The live video attracted close to 800,000 viewers on Saturday morning, as the baby began to peek through.
April’s baby is expected to be about 6 feet tall and weigh about 150 pounds. As USA Today noted, April’s baby makes three giraffes for the park, but only for a limited time.
“The calf will be the third giraffe to call Animal Adventure’s giraffe barn home. April is a 15-year-old reticulated giraffe who came to the park in September 2015. Five-year-old Oliver is the calf’s father, and was the park’s first giraffe when he arrived four months before April in May 2015.”
“The calf likely won’t stay long at Animal Adventure with its mom and dad. After April has raised her baby naturally and it has weaned itself after six to 12 months, it will move on to another facility for safety purposes.”
The speculation immediately turned to what officials should name April the Giraffe’s baby, even before the baby made its official debut. There were already plenty of leading candidates suggested by fans. Many offered April Jr., a nod to the month when April’s baby was finally born. Others suggested Delayney (“Delay”ney) for how long viewers had to wait to finally see the giraffe arrive.
So what will April the Giraffe’s baby be named? That will be up to the fans who have been following her along, Animal Adventure Park officials said.
“We do have a naming contest in the works,” spokesman Jordan Patch told Hollywood Life in the early days of April’s viral livefeed craze.
And there could be a big event planned for the reveal of April the Giraffe’s baby name.
“A current, possible exclusive deal with a day time talk show,” Patch said.
“We are shocked on just how viral this has gone.”
There could be a drawback to the plan to let fans help select April the Giraffe’s baby name. Online naming contests in recent years have turned into something of a farce, with fans trying to push the most ridiculous names possible.
The most famous example was when the British Natural Environment Research Council let the internet name its $287 million polar research vessel. The overwhelming winner was Boaty McBoatface, though officials ended up scrapping that name and going with RRS Sir David Attenborough instead. As something of a consolation, the ship’s underwater research vessel was named Boaty McBoatface.
As the Washington Post noted, an online contest to name a new gorilla born at the Philadelphia Zoo last year ended up as a tribute to the internet’s favorite martyred gorilla, Harambe.
The leading suggestions for that contest included: Harambe, Harambe McKongface, Harambinho, Harambab, Harambe, Jr., Harambe, Second of His Name, Harambe 2: Electric Bugaloo, and Harambe’s Revenge.
Many fans already believe April the Giraffe’s baby name will follow the same trend.
But some more recent online naming contests have gotten wise to the trend of picking the silliest choices possible and countered it by giving people a pre-set list of names they can choose. That will likely be the case when it comes time to name April the Giraffe’s baby.
Animal Adventure Park has not said exactly when April the Giraffe’s baby will get a new name, but it sounds like it will be quite an event when it finally happens.
[Featured Image by Jeff Chiu/AP Images]