April the giraffe is heading into retirement — and onto birth control
(CNN) — Five children are enough for internet celebrity April the giraffe, and the 17-year-old is ready to go on birth control.
Well, that’s what her caretakers say.
Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, posted a video on Facebook Thursday announcing that one of their most popular animals will be retiring from the propagation program.
“It is a great celebration of her because she has certainly done her purpose, and that is to produce some beautiful, healthy calves in her lifetime,” said Jordan Patch in the video.
She fulfilled her purpose, indeed. The mother has had her hands full with five baby giraffes –which are usually born six feet tall and weighing 100 to 150 pounds — over the course of her lifetime.
April will be moved to a barn set up more for her senior care than for birthing, and as another precaution she will be put on contraceptives, the park said.
Why senior care?
There’s no recorded evidence of how long giraffes live, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, but it’s estimated that they can live to about 25 years in the wild and even longer in captivity.
Despite her move, she will remain a star on exhibit, the park said.
The decision was made by management, animal care staff and veterinarians after watching her behavior, which told them that carrying another baby would not be in her best interest.
April became an internet celebrity after giving birth to her fourth child in April 2017. The Animal Adventure Park streamed the birth to up to 300,000 viewers and held a contest to name the baby.
It was a boy, and the winning name was Tajiri.
This March, she became a mother of five with another boy.
Two years doesn’t sound like too big of an age gap considering that the average gestation period for a giraffe is about 15 months, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
April and her children come as the number of giraffes have dropped to fewer than 100,000, from more that 150,000 over three decades, the foundation says.
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