April the Giraffe’s Calf Named Tajiri: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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A name has been chosen for the giraffe calf at Harpursville, New York’s Animal Adventure Park. At 2 weeks old, the son of April and her mate Oliver has been given the moniker Tajiri. Fans were able to choose the calf’s name via a voting process that took place on social media.

When April the giraffe was in the final phase of her pregnancy, zoo owner Jordan Patch decided to install a video camera in the giraffe barn. The camera provided a 24-hour live YouTube stream, allowing people all over the world to watch the pregnant giraffe as she prepared to welcome her calf. Over 14 million people have viewed the stream since it went live in February 2017.

Here is what you need to know:


1. The Calf’s Name Was Chosen by Zookeepers, Allysa & Corey

Tajiri is the name of April and Oliver’s calf. The name was chosen by zookeepers Allysa Swilley and Corey Dwyer after voters chose “Allysa’s Choice,” giving her the opportunity to choose the name that she wanted for the newest addition to the zoo. She decided to choose the name along with Corey, whom she referred to as her “co-parent” when it came to the animals at Animal Adventure Park.

The announcement was made via Facebook Live on Monday morning.

Tajiri means “hope and confidence” in Swahili.


2. The Naming Process Consisted of 2 Rounds of Voting

After April’s calf was born, the zoo announced how the voting process would work. In Round 1, fans were able to visit NameAprilsCalf.com, and submit their name suggestion in exchange for a minimum $5 donation. This round ended at 7 p.m. EST on April 25.

The top 10 names, alphabetically, following Round 1 were:

  • “Alyssa’s Choice” (A vote for zookeeper Allysa Swilley to choose).
  • Apollo
  • Geoffrey
  • Gio
  • Harpur
  • Noah
  • Ollie
  • Patch
  • Patches
  • Unity

Round 2 began on April 25. Fans were able to vote on their favorite name from the list, also in exchange for a minimum $5 donation. The voting process ended on April 30 at 6 p.m. EST.

Money collected from the public during the voting process will be split among the Giraffe Conservation FoundationAva’s Little Heroes, and Animal Adventure Park.


3. April Gave Birth on April 15, 2017, After Keeping the World in Suspense for Several Weeks

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April may have been nearing the end of her pregnancy when the YouTube cam was turned on, but there were multiple false alarms over the two month period before she actually gave birth. In fact, Jordan Patch, the zookeepers, and even the zoo’s vet, Dr. Tim, thought that April was going to go into labor two full weeks before she actually did.

April went into labor in morning hours of April 15. Within a few minutes, the calf’s hooves appeared, and hundreds of thousands of people all over the world witnessed the miracle of birth.

The zoo did not immediately announce the sex of the calf, but reserved that information for those who opted in to a paid text-alert system. Hours later, the zoo confirmed that April’s calf was a male and opened up the website for name submissions.

Tajiri weighed 129 pounds and stood 5 feet, 9 inches tall. Below is a video of him taking his first few steps.


4. Animal Adventure Park’s YouTube Cam Is Live Every Tuesday From 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The live YouTube cam is no longer available for viewing on a 24/7 basis. The zoo decided to take down their livestream for the sake of being able to focus more on their animals and on their zoo, which is scheduled to reopen on May 13.

Jordan Patch and his co-workers still want the public to be able to enjoy watching their giraffes and have decided to turn the camera back on one day per week. The chosen day is Tuesday. From 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., folks can head over to YouTube to check in on the new giraffe family. Animal Adventure Park posted the following reasons for choosing that time frame.

“Soon the giraffes are outside, and you will be watching an empty stall, but with our closing daily at 5 p.m., you will have hours of enjoyment while they retire for the evening. (2) It allows us to capture the majority of our major fan bases (worldwide) at a relatively decent time in their daily routines.”

You can check out a recent stream of April and her calf in the video below.

To watch the livestream on Tuesdays, click here.


5. You Can Buy April & Tajiri Merchandise at Animal Adventure Park’s Online Store

April the giraffe merchandise is available through the zoo’s online store. A variety of clothing and accessories, ranging from T-shirts to stuffed animals, are available for purchase.

Animal Adventure Park has created some unique phrases for their new items. Their T-shirts, which range in price from $16 to $17, say things like, “I Spent March Waiting for April,” and “I Survived Giraffe Watch.” Many of the items available for purchase were made in limited quantities and may only be available for a limited time.

All major credit cards are accepted, as is PayPal. There is free shipping offered for addresses located in the contiguous United States for those spending $125 or more. The site also offers free exchanges.