Thousands anticipate arrival of April’s baby

SALT LAKE CITY -- As the days drag on, the controversy heats up.

"Everyone has been watching thinking that she's going to have her baby any minute, and she hasn't had her baby in a month," said Salt Lake resident Leisha Laidlaw. "Everyone's like, 'Where's it at?'"

Laidlaw is talking about April the giraffe. April became an online sensation in early February when a New York Zoo called Animal Adventure Park announced on Facebook that April would soon have a baby, and that they would livestream her online leading up to it.

"I've seen like hundreds of people all over Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook: it's everywhere," said Kelsie Sandberg as she walked out of Salt Lake's Hogle Zoo.

The only problem is, that was nearly seven weeks ago. As the days drag on, people online have begun asking whether this was a prank. Some online comments pointed out the giraffe's name is April, and that tomorrow is April 1st. They wonder if this is an April Fool's Day joke.

"I've heard that!" responded Laidlaw excitedly.

Adding to the rumor mill, the zoo announced late in the week that they were nearly certain April would give birth over the weekend, just in time for April 1st.

"I would be shocked," said Salt Lake Attorney Greg Skordas.

Skordas points out that the zoo has raised over a hundred thousand dollars and has separately sold T-shirts reading, "I survived giraffe watch" online.

"That sort of takes it from fun to sort of a fraudulent act,” Skordas added of the potential for a prank.

Fortunately, the director of animal health at the Hogle zoo, Nancy Carpenter, helped put some of those rumors to rest on Friday.

"I don't think it's a hoax," Carpenter said. "I've seen mothers that give birth and hold on longer then they should have."

She notes that giraffes pregnancies last 15 months, so, predicting the expected birth dates can be difficult.