The internet’s most famous giraffe mother is going into retirement.
Jordan Patch, of Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, announced Thursday that caretakers have decided to remove 17-year-old April the giraffe from the park’s breeding program. She was set to begin taking contraceptives Friday and scheduled to move next week to a barn better suited to caring for a senior giraffe.
“It is a great celebration for her, because she’s certainly done her purpose and that is produce some beautiful, healthy calves in her lifetime,” Patch said.
April is mother to five calves, two of which were born to great fanfare at Animal Adventure Park.
Millions of people watched in April 2017 when the park livestreamed April's fourth pregnancy and the birth of her calf, Tajiri, on its "giraffe cam." Hundreds of thousands more tuned in to watch the arrival of April's fifth calf, Azizi, in March.
“She’ll continue to be a star of education and conservation initiatives here at Animal Adventure Park,” Patch said.
The park's breeding program will continue with another female, Johari, set to take April's place with her former mate, Oliver, NPR reported.
“The next stage of (April’s) life… is going to be senior care,” Patch said.
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, there is no recorded evidence of how long giraffes live, though experts believe they can live "to about 25 years in the wild and even longer in captivity."
Patch said April will be moved next week into a barn with Tajiri and Azizi.
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