April (giraffe)

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April
SpeciesReticulated giraffe
SexFemale
Born2002
Catskill Game Farm, Catskill, New York
Owner3 owners
ResidenceAnimal Adventure Park
Harpursville, New York
OffspringLevi (male, b. 2011)[1]
Autumn (female, b. 2013)[2]
Tajiri (male, b. 2017)
Azizi (male, b. 2019)
One other male calf (b. unknown)
aprilthegiraffe.com

April (born 2002) is a reticulated giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, in the United States. She gained worldwide fame after a live video of her in the late stages of pregnancy, along with the subsequent birth, were put on YouTube. The birth was watched live by nearly 1.2 million viewers.

Life[edit]

April was born at the Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, New York. She resided at the farm until it closed in 2006, when she was relocated to Adirondack Animal Land in Broadalbin, New York.[3]

Animal Adventure Park owned by Jordan Patch acquired 13-year-old April shortly after acquiring Oliver, a much younger 3-year-old male giraffe, in 2015. Oliver and April soon mated, which resulted in her pregnancy that normally lasts 15 months.[4] It was Oliver's first siring and April's fourth pregnancy;[5] she had previously mothered three other giraffes, two males and a female named Autumn, with a male giraffe named Stretch.[2] After becoming pregnant, at Animal Adventure Park she became a "viral sensation" in February 2017 while being monitored by a live stream.[6][7][8][9] An estimated 1.2 million viewers watched the live feed of the giraffe giving birth on YouTube; the live feed was sponsored by Toys R Us and Babies R Us, as a play on that chain's mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe.[5] By the time the camera was shut off, the YouTube feed had accumulated 232 million views.[10] A GoFundMe fundraiser page that initially set a goal of $50,000 sat at more than $135,000 by the time the calf was born. The money is to be used to offset the annual care for the animals and upgrading the giraffe exhibit at the park.[11]

With the prolonged wait for April to enter labor, some people had questioned if the pregnancy was an April Fools' Day joke,[12][13][14] and other conspiracy theories had also been put forward.[15] Prior to the birth, April's veterinarian Dr Tim Slater stated that despite a great sense of anticipation, the birth of her calf was not considered overdue.[16] On April 8, 2017, April's zookeeper Allysa Swilley and caretaker Corey Dwyer stated that April was big, full of milk and "closer" to giving birth, but at this time, the calf is "just not coming out." A live stream of April's pregnancy has been posted to the video-sharing site YouTube. A minor controversy resulted when YouTube briefly removed the stream in late February 2017 following complaints from animal activists of the video allegedly violating standards in regards to nudity and sexual activity. Following thousands of complaints from YouTube users, the stream was restored to the website within an hour.[17]

On April 15, 2017, Animal Adventure Park announced April had gone into labor, noting that the calf's hooves had come out of the womb and that it would take between 30 minutes and two hours from that point to complete the birth. The calf, a male[5] with a height of 5.75 feet (1.75 m) and weighing 129 pounds (59 kg),[18] was born at approximately 9:54 a.m. Eastern Time.[4] The giraffe cam was shut off at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time on April 21, with the staff appearing on camera before the shutoff to express their thanks.[10] The calf was named Tajiri as a result of a name-the-baby contest, from the Swahili language word for "hope".[19]

On July 25, 2018, Animal Adventure Park announced that April and Oliver had conceived a second time earlier in the year.[20] This calf, also a male,[21] was born at 12:43 p.m. Eastern Time on March 16, 2019; as with Tajiri's birth, the birth was live-streamed on the Internet, with 300,000 viewers at the time of birth.[22] On March 16, 2019, at 12:43 pm April gave birth to her fourth son, Azizi (Ah-Zee-Zee) weighing 139 pounds with a height of 5 feet and 11 inches. The calf was on his feet at 1:27 pm; and was observed nursing at 1:51 pm.

April was placed on birth control in June 2019 and would enter senior care after her handlers observed behavior that made them believe that further calf bearing would be hazardous to her health. During her retirement, she will be housed with her two youngest children Tajiri and Azizi. Animal Adventure Park acquired another female giraffe, Johari, to continue breeding of the species with Oliver.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Castle baby giraffe now outside for viewing".
  2. ^ a b "Autumn arrives twice on Sunday".
  3. ^ Addison, Victoria (April 3, 2017). "April the giraffe a Catskill native". Register-Star.
  4. ^ a b Rossman, Sean (April 15, 2017). "April the giraffe is finally about to give birth". USA Today. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Associated Press (April 15, 2017). "April the giraffe in NY has calf before 1.2 million online". WIVB-TV. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "'Today is not the day to stop watching,' park owner says of April the giraffe's live stream". ABC News. March 31, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  7. ^ Bakalar, Jeff. "April the giraffe will give birth this weekend, zoo says". CNET. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  8. ^ Kettley, Sebastian. "April the giraffe could give birth today - Vet predicts calf's arrival". Express.co.uk. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  9. ^ McKeever, Jim. "Watch live: Zoo says April the Giraffe may give birth soon". FOX 61. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "April the Giraffe live stream set to end today". Associated Press. April 21, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "April the Giraffe finally gives birth to baby boy as 1.2 million watch live". CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  12. ^ O'Brien, Zoie. "April Fools? Twitter users claim April the giraffe pregnancy is elaborate prank". Express.co.uk. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  13. ^ "Is April the pregnant giraffe merely an April Fools' joke?". TODAY.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  14. ^ "Is April the Giraffe's Pregnancy One Giant April Fools' Day Joke?". Khak.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  15. ^ Salo, Jackie. "The best pregnant April the Giraffe conspiracy theories". New York Post. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  16. ^ "April update: What happened? Where's the baby?". KARE11. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  17. ^ Parker, Najja (April 8, 2017). "April the giraffe closer to delivering but baby 'just not coming out'". WHIO-TV via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  18. ^ Vet Check and a Thumbs Up. Animal Adventure Park official Facebook feed. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  19. ^ "April the Giraffe's Calf Has a Name! Drumroll Please..."
  20. ^ "New York's April the Giraffe Is Pregnant Again -- And Yes, Oliver Is the Father". WNBC. July 25, 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  21. ^ Staff, WFLA 8 On Your Side (March 16, 2019). "It's a boy! April the giraffe gives birth to another calf". KXAN. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  22. ^ CNN, Jay Croft (March 16, 2019). "April the giraffe gives birth". CNN. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  23. ^ Allyn, Bobby (June 7, 2019). "Internet Sensation April The Giraffe Going On Birth Control, Having No More Babies". WBFO. Retrieved June 7, 2019.

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