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April The giraffe delivered its calf on Saturday, to the delight of the fascinated internet audience. The highly acclaimed hoofed replica of the Animal Adventure Park in Harpersville, New York, began giving birth before noon. (March 1

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April The Giraffe, an internet sensation whose pregnancies and live births in an animal adventure park in New York have won hearts around the world.

The park said April was euthanized after suffering from worsening arthritis, a condition the giraffe’s veterinary team said was exacerbated in larger animals.

Two of April’s sons, Tajiri, who resides in Animal Adventure, and Azizi, who died at a Texas zoo in October 2020, were born in front of a worldwide audience that generated worldwide attention.

“Unfortunately, over time, what we saw was that April was increasingly shifting its weight from limb to limb, a steady decline in mobility and spending much more time lying down,” the veterinary team said in a statement. .

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April was euthanized Friday in Harpursville, New York. Animal Adventure’s veterinary team said her body had been taken to Cornell University Veterinary School for necropsy and would be cremated.

Her ashes will be returned to the Animal Adventure Park.

The veterinary team said a recent set of X-rays taken in March to assess April’s condition showed “significant and progressive degeneration” of the lower leg joints.

“The severity of her condition is outpacing our ability to control April’s comfort,” the team said in a statement.

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April was 20 years old and first arrived in the park in September 2015. The average lifespan of a giraffe in the wild is up to 15 years, up to 25 in captivity. April had given birth to five calves.

Animal Adventure Park leaders said she was “in her golden years” at the park.

When Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch bought the 20-acre sloping land and opened the doors in 2013, he hoped there would be a giraffe in the park when the park turned five.

He quickly got two: Oliver and April, who would become the parents of Tajiri, the calf of the giraffe, whose expected birth connected nearly millions of people.

Passionate animal lovers quickly became giraffe experts, watching April’s every move on YouTube broadcast from a small webcam located in the upper corner of Animal Adventure’s first giraffe barn.

Friendships blossomed in the live comment section, fans from all over the world made pilgrimages to visit the famous 16-meter star on YouTube, and in the park, guards and employees watched April as a member of their family.

Patch said he and his staff knew that this day would eventually come. Still, “our hearts ache,” he said.

“It will be deeply missed and will be fondly remembered,” Patch said. “April changed the world in its own way.”

Follow Katie Sullivan Borerelli on Twitter: @ByKatieBorrelli

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