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April the giraffe dies just 5 months after calf passes away at East Texas zoo

'We say goodbye to the giraffe that can be credited with making a foothold for giraffe and giraffe conservation awareness in the 21st century.'
Credit: Animal Adventure Park
April and her calf Tajiri or "Taj"

BUFFALO, N.Y. — April the giraffe has died, Animal Adventure Park announced Friday in a post to Facebook. She was 20 years old.

"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," Animal Adventure Park said in a statement.

"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." 

It was nearly four years ago, on April 15, 2017, that April the Giraffe finally gave birth. The world had waited and fans anxiously watched for weeks before the little one finally made an appearance.

April drew more than 232 million YouTube live views from the camera at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y. during the seven weeks before she finally gave birth to her calf, Tajiri. At the time of his birth, 1.2 million people were watching on the park's YouTube stream. 

April was 20 years old. Animal Adventure Park noted that the average life expectancy for a giraffe in "captive management" is between 20 to 25 years. 

"April’s most recent veterinary exam identified the acceleration of April’s condition, prompting the determination that euthanasia was the humane and appropriate course of action," the park said in its post Friday. 

April's death comes after Azizi, the youngest calf to the April, unexpectedly died in late October in Texas.

The veterinary staff at the East Texas Zoo and Gator Parks said during a post-mortem review Azizi had a "twisted gut around his cranial mesenteric artery, which was ultimately the cause of his death."