If you have been on the Internet at all over the last three months, you have probably heard of April the Giraffe. April gained notoriety back in February when her live birth feed (via Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville N.Y.) was reported for inappropriate content. After that incident was cleared up, she had a live stream for over two months while viewers all over awaited the pending arrival of her giraffe calf.
It started in February when Animal Adventure Park started a live stream on YouTube to capture the birth of April’s fourth calf. They briefly stopped the stream on Feb 23rd, but then restarted it. Then throughout the month of March and most of April, Animal Adventure Park continued to claim that April was nearing labor. April, who is 15, and Oliver, a 5-year-old giraffe and the father, were live streamed from their cozy pens all day and night. Zookeepers provided updates mid-April and started doing brief live chats on Facebook.
At times, it felt as if the zoo was misleading people, or had been incredibly wrong about April’s actual due date. Giraffes do have a gestation period of 15 months and it seems that April was slightly overdue.
Jordan Patch, the owner of Animal Adventure Park, explained why they might have been so off: “The neat thing about giraffe labor is that they instinctively hide the labor signs because in the wild, if they were making it very clear they were in labor, every hyena and lion would sit tight and wait for mom to become vulnerable.”
Here are some fun facts Animal Adventure Park posted on YouTube with the live stream:
- This is the first giraffe calf for Animal Adventure Park
- The front hooves will come out first followed by the snout.
- Mom will naturally raise the calf, with weaning could take between 6-10 months, maybe longer. We will not rush this process – it is just a documented range of captive weaning.
- Once the calf is born, we will have a contest to name it
- The keepers will go in with April, clean her pen, give her treats (but not Oliver). He is a bull – and a bull is a bull is a bull!
- Those “things” on their heads are called ossicones
- They eat hay and specialized giraffe diet but love romaine lettuce and carrot treats
On the morning of April 15th, April started to really show signs of being labor. A few hours later, she gave birth to a baby boy calf weighing approximately 129 pounds at a height of 5’9”. After a naming contest, the voters have spoken and chose the option for the handler, Allysa to name the calf. She chose the name Tajiri, which is “Swahili for hope, confidence, king.” He will be called ‘Taj.’
You can still catch the Giraffe cam every Tuesday from 4pm – 8pm EST to check up on April, Oliver, and Taj. In addition, Animal Adventure Park has stated, “a permanent yard cam will go up this season which will also reconnect you to your favorite giraffe family.”