April the Giraffe, YouTube sensation, dies at age 20

April the Giraffe, a live stream sensation, died Friday at age 20. Photo courtesy of Animal Adventure Park/Facebook

April 4 (UPI) — April the Giraffe, a YouTube sensation whose live-streamed births attracted millions of viewers, has died at age 20, a zoo in New York announced.

The veterinary team at Animal Adventure Park said in a Facebook post they made “every possible effort to keep her comfortable and prolong her life,” but her arthritis had worsened to the point that “euthanasia was the humane” action.

She died Friday.

At age 20, “April was in her golden years,” and had surpassed the average life expectancy of 10 years to 15 years in the wild, the statement from the Harpursville, N.Y., facility, which was April’s home for nearly six years, said.

April’s fame helped bring awareness to the conservation of giraffes, whose population has declined by 40% over the past 30 years, according to Animal Adventure Park’s website. It also states that the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List has a declared the giraffe “vulnerable to extinction.”

“We grieve with her many fans, near and far, as we say goodbye to the giraffe that can be credited with making a foothold for giraffe and giraffe conservation awareness in the 21st century,” the Animal Adventure Park’s Facebook post read. “While her hoofprints in her yard will erode in time, the imprint she has made on the hearts of people around the world will never fade.”

April gave birth to five calves, and rose to fame when she birthed her fourth calf, Tajiri, on April 15, 2017, in a YouTube live stream as some 1.2 million people watched. In March 2019, she gave birth to her fifth calf, and her second since arriving at Animal Adventure Park, Azizi, as up to 300,000 viewers watched the livestream. Azizi, who was moved to East Texas Zoo and Gator Park, died from a twisted gut around his cranial mesenteric artery in October, the zoo in Texas said in a Facebook post.

Baby giraffes are usually born around 6 feet tall and weighing around 125 pounds to 150 pounds, according to Save Giraffes Now.

Tajiri, now 3 years old, remains at the Animal Adventure Park, the park’s website shows.


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