Internet star April the Giraffe has died at age 20.
New Yorks’ Animal Adventure Park announced the sad news in a Facebook post Friday, stating the beloved animal was euthanized “due to her worsening arthritis, in accordance with the recommendations of her veterinary team.” Her body was transported to the Cornell University Veterinary School for a post-mortem examination. April will be cremated and her ashes will return to Animal Adventure Park, which she called home since 2015.
According to the animal park, April was in her “golden years,” as the average captive management life expectancy averaged between 20-25 years—about a decade longer than the average lifespan in the wild.
“April the Giraffe brought joy to the millions who have watched her via the park’s Giraffe Cam, and the hundreds of thousands of visitors who have made the trip to her home in Harpursville, New York,” Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park, said in a statement. “To her keepers and our team here at the park, she is a precious member of our family, and while we knew this day would eventually come, our hearts are hurting. April’s impact on animal conservation and appreciation is both immeasurable and lasting. The loss of an animal as loved as her will be felt in our community, around the country and across the world. We appreciate respect and empathy from April’s fans and the park’s supporters during this difficult time, as they grieve along with us. She will be deeply missed and fondly remembered. April, in her own special way, changed the world.”
The 18-foot-tall giraffe captured hearts around the world in 2017 when she gave birth to calf Tajiri during a YouTube livestream that was viewed by more than 1.2 million people. April would go on to give birth to a calf named Azizi in 2019; However, the animal died unexpectedly about seven months later. April was removed from the park’s breeding program shortly after Azizi was born.
Fans and animal-lovers have flooded social media with tributes and messages of condolences. You can read some of the posts below.