The beloved animal was euthanized on the recommendation of its vets due to worsening arthritis, Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, announced in a Facebook message
“We mourn with his many fans, near and far, as we say goodbye to the giraffe who can be credited with gaining a foothold in raising awareness for giraffes and giraffes conservation in the 21st century,” reads the message. “Although her hoofprints in her yard erode over time, the imprint she made on the hearts of people around the world will never fade.”
The animal park has been April’s home for almost six years. She had given birth to five calves, including Tajiri, the little boy who made her famous. He was also the first calf to be born in the animal park, with 1.25 million people watching the live broadcast of his birth.
April vets noticed that the giraffe was showing noticeable signs of osteoarthritis in the summer of 2020. Despite their tremendous efforts – which included joint supplements, pain relievers, dietary changes, hoof size and coating padded floor in her barn – she continued to lose her mobility.
“To her caretakers and our team here at the park, she is a precious member of our family, and while we knew that day would eventually come, our hearts ache,” said Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park, in a press release. “The impact of April on the conservation and enjoyment of animals is both immeasurable and lasting.”
His body was escorted to Cornell University veterinary school for an autopsy, the park said. After the cremation, the ashes from April will be returned to the animal park.
The popularity of April helped raise awareness of the rapidly declining giraffe population, which has dropped by 40%
over the past 30 years, depending on the park.
April and her children came as the number of giraffes fell to less than 100,000, from more than 150,000, over three decades, according to the foundation, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
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