April the Giraffe Passes Away at 20

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Apr. 2 2021, Updated 3:56 p.m. ET

After a long life filled with delighting internet users around the globe, April the Giraffe has passed away at the age of 20, Animal Adventure Park confirmed in a Facebook post on Friday, April 2, 2021. A veterinary team put April down this morning due to her arthritis.

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“It is with the heaviest of hearts that Animal Adventure Park announces the tremendous loss of our beloved April the Giraffe,” Animal Adventure Park wrote on Facebook. “Euthanasia was carried out at April’s home in Harpursville this morning, due to her worsening arthritis, in accordance with the recommendations of her veterinary team. We grieve with her many fans, near and far, as we say goodbye to the giraffe that can be credited with making a foothold for giraffe and giraffe conservation awareness in the 21st century.”

How did April the Giraffe die?

The park’s veterinary team further elaborated on April the Giraffe’s health issues in the post, explaining that April began experiencing mobility issues in the summer of 2020. To try and mitigate April’s arthritis, the vets administered pain medicine and anti-inflammatories, trimmed her hooves, installed padded flooring, and even changed her diet. Unfortunately, April’s condition continued to worsen over the past few months — the vets observed her mobility deteriorate and her lying down a lot more than usual.

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Last month, the vets observed advanced osteoarthritis, her left rear hoof had interphalangeal subluxation (joint dislocations) in the left rear hoof, and she had “lameness and angular joint abnormalities” in all four feet. “As hard of a decision as it is, for a veterinary team and facility, it is decided that euthanasia is the most humane decision to make at this time,” the vets said.

After being put down, April’s body was transported to the Cornell University Veterinary School to carry out a necropsy, and later, a cremation. Her ashes will be returned to Animal Adventure Park, so she can lay to rest where she spent the last six years of her life.

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April the Giraffe was an internet icon.

April the Giraffe captivated the attention of the entire world in the spring of 2017, when she prepared to give birth. Animal Adventure Park, the zoo where she has lived since 2013, live streamed April on its Giraffe Cam for several months. According to The New York Times, April's due date was sometime between mid-January and mid-February — but her pregnancy wound up lasting much longer than predicted, and internet users spent about two months obsessing over monitoring the pregnant giraffe on the YouTube live stream (which is still live today).

On April 15, 2017, after a 16-month pregnancy, April finally gave birth to a baby boy, who was later named Tajiri, as per E! News. Around 1.2 million viewers watched April welcome Tajiri into the world, according to USA Today.

Two years later, in March 2019, April gave birth to another baby boy named Azizi. He was later relocated to a Texas zoo, where he unfortunately passed away in October of 2020 at just 1.5 years old, People reported.

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