April (giraffe)

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April
SpeciesReticulated giraffe
SexFemale
Born(2000-04-18)April 18, 2000
Catskill Game Farm, Catskill, New York
DiedApril 2, 2021(2021-04-02) (aged 20)
Animal Adventure Park, Colesville, New York
Nation fromUnited States
Known forLive-streams of births in 2017 and 2019
Owner3 owners
Offspring
  • Levi (male, b. 11/25/2011)[1]
  • Autumn (female, b.2013)[2]
  • Tajiri (male, b. 2017)
  • Azizi (male, 2019–2020)
  • Jase (male, b. 2010)
  • Jigsaw (male, b. 2015)
aprilthegiraffe.com

April (April 18, 2000 – April 2, 2021) was a reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, in the United States. She gained worldwide fame after live videos of her in the late stages of pregnancy and the subsequent birth were put on YouTube in 2017. The birth was watched live by nearly 1.2 million viewers.

Life[edit]

April was born in 2000[3] at the Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, New York. She resided at the Catskill Game Farm until it closed in October 2006, when she was relocated to Adirondack Animal Land in Broadalbin, New York.[4]

Animal Adventure Park owned by Jordan Patch acquired 14-year-old April shortly after acquiring Oliver, a 3-year-old male giraffe, in 2015. Oliver and April soon mated, which resulted in her pregnancy that normally lasts 15 months.[5] It was Oliver's first siring and April's fourth pregnancy;[6] 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.[7][8][9][10] An estimated 1.2 million viewers watched the live feed of April 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.[6] By the time the camera was shut off, the YouTube feed had accumulated 232 million views.[11] A GoFundMe fundraiser page that initially set a goal of $50,000 received more than $135,000 by the time the calf was born. The money was used to offset the annual care for the animals and upgrading the giraffe exhibit at the park.[12]

With the prolonged wait for April to enter labor, some people had questioned if the pregnancy was an April Fools' Day joke,[13][14][15] and other conspiracy theories had also been put forward.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

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[6] with a height of 5.75 feet (1.75 m) and weighing 129 pounds (59 kg),[19] was born at approximately 9:54 a.m. Eastern Time.[5] 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.[11] As a result of a name-the-baby contest, the calf was named Tajiri, from the Swahili language word for "hope".[20]

On July 25, 2018, Animal Adventure Park announced that April and Oliver had conceived a second time earlier in the year.[21] This calf, also a male,[22] 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.[23] 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 entered 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 was housed with her two youngest children, Tajiri and Azizi. Subsequently Animal Adventure Park acquired another female giraffe, Johari, to continue breeding of the species with Oliver.[24]

On November 25, 2019, it was announced that Azizi, April's youngest calf, was moving to the East Texas Zoo & Gator Park in Grand Saline, Texas, in spring 2020,[25] because he was growing faster than older brother Tajiri,[26] and also taking to alfalfa hay and a fortified pelleted giraffe diet early on in his development.

The East Texas Zoo and Gator Park announced that Azizi died unexpectedly on October 27, 2020.[27] He had recently received treatment for a parasitic issue; the treatment regimen appeared to be working, and Azizi was showing signs of improvement. On October 27, however, Azizi was unable to stand, and he died during a veterinary examination. Post-mortem review revealed a twisted gut around his cranial mesenteric artery, which was ultimately the cause of his death. This condition was entirely unexpected and unpreventable.[28]

On April 2, 2021, sixteen days before her 21st birthday, Animal Adventure Park announced that April had been euthanized at the age of 20 because of worsening arthritis. Her body is to be cremated and her ashes returned to the park.[29][30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stone, Matt (September 13, 2013) [18 September 2013]. "New Castle baby giraffe now outside for viewing". Youngstown, Ohio: WFMJ-TV. Retrieved April 2, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Hamilton, Matthew. "Autumn arrives twice on Sunday". Times Union. Albany, NY.
  3. ^ "April, one of the most famous giraffes in the world, just gave birth to her fifth baby". BusinessInsider. Retrieved April 2, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Addison, Victoria (April 3, 2017). "April the giraffe a Catskill native". Register-Star.
  5. ^ a b Rossman, Sean (April 15, 2017). "April the giraffe is finally about to give birth". USA Today. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "April the giraffe in NY has calf before 1.2 million online". WIVB-TV. Associated Press. April 15, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  7. ^ "'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.
  8. ^ Bakalar, Jeff. "April the giraffe will give birth this weekend, zoo says". CNET. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  9. ^ Kettley, Sebastian. "April the giraffe could give birth today - Vet predicts calf's arrival". Express.co.uk. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  10. ^ McKeever, Jim. "Watch live: Zoo says April the Giraffe may give birth soon". FOX 61. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "April the Giraffe live stream set to end today". Associated Press. April 21, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "April the Giraffe finally gives birth to baby boy as 1.2 million watch live". CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  13. ^ O'Brien, Zoie. "April Fools? Twitter users claim April the giraffe pregnancy is elaborate prank". Express.co.uk. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  14. ^ "Is April the pregnant giraffe merely an April Fools' joke?". TODAY.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  15. ^ "Is April the Giraffe's Pregnancy One Giant April Fools' Day Joke?". Khak.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  16. ^ Salo, Jackie. "The best pregnant April the Giraffe conspiracy theories". New York Post. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  17. ^ "April update: What happened? Where's the baby?". KARE11. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Vet Check and a Thumbs Up. Animal Adventure Park official Facebook feed. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  20. ^ "April the Giraffe's Calf Has a Name! Drumroll Please..."
  21. ^ "New York's April the Giraffe Is Pregnant Again -- And Yes, Oliver Is the Father". WNBC. July 25, 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Croft, Jay (March 16, 2019). "April the giraffe gives birth". CNN. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  24. ^ Allyn, Bobby (June 7, 2019). "Internet Sensation April The Giraffe Going On Birth Control, Having No More Babies". WBFO. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  25. ^ "April the Giraffe's Last Baby is Heading to an East Texas Zoo". NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. November 26, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  26. ^ Borrelli, Katie Sullivan (November 25, 2019). "Animal Adventure Park, home to April the Giraffe, sending Azizi to Texas zoo". Pressconnects. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  27. ^ "April the Giraffe's calf, Azizi, dies at Texas Zoo". WBNG. October 29, 2020. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  28. ^ "East Texas Zoo and Gator Park". Facebook. October 28, 2020. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  29. ^ "April the Giraffe, who became a viral sensation during her 2017 pregnancy, dies". WPVI-TV. April 2, 2021.
  30. ^ Kussin, Zachary (April 2, 2021). "April the Giraffe, whose 2017 pregnancy went viral, dead at 20". New York Post.

External links[edit]