April the Giraffe, whose 2017 pregnancy went viral, dead at 20

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Sadly, it’s the circle of life.

April, the 18-foot-tall giraffe who launched to fame in 2017 when her upstate zoo began livestreaming the final stretch of her 16-month pregnancy, has died at the age of 20.

Animal Adventure Park, located in Harpursville, NY, near Binghamton, announced April had to be euthanized due to her worsening arthritis, according to ABC.

“We credit and thank the outstanding collective care provided by the park’s veterinarians and animal care team with keeping April happy and healthy during her more than five year stay at Animal Adventure,” said a Facebook post from the park. “Both teams have made every possible effort to keep her comfortable and prolong her life while managing her condition. Over the past year, accommodations were made and treatments performed, including yard substrate changes, installation of a state-of-the-art padded barn flooring system, coupled with farrier work, dietary and medical changes. April’s most recent veterinary exam identified the acceleration of April’s condition, prompting the determination that euthanasia was the humane and appropriate course of action.”

She died very well known. In February 2017, Animal Adventure Park lured many millions of YouTube viewers to a livestreamed feed from a camera perched in her habitat that showed footage of the then-pregnant April. Among them, 1.2 million viewers alone watched April give birth that April to a male calf named Tajiri, which means hope and confidence in the Swahili language. That was April’s fourth pregnancy.

At the time, April’s giraffe cam was the second most live-viewed channel in the history of YouTube, with north of 232 million hits between February and May of 2017.

In 2020, April’s fifth and youngest calf, Azizi, died suddenly at a Texas zoo at 18 months of age. Azizi had been treated for a parasitic issue, and showed signs of improvement, but passed away during a veterinary examination.

After Azizi’s 2019 birth, Animal Adventure Park announced that April would begin birth control and retire from its breeding program.

April’s body is now one hour west in Ithaca, at the Cornell University Veterinary School, to undergo a necropsy. She will be cremated following the procedure, and her ashes will be returned to Animal Adventure Park.

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