April gave birth to her calf on April 15 at Animal Adventure Park in upstate New York after weeks of intense anticipation and millions of YouTube live stream views.
The zoo has now proudly announced that April’s calf has been named Tajiri after a public competition to give the calf a moniker.
“Tajiri is a Swahili name for both ‘hope’ and ‘confidence,” April’s zookeeper Alyssa revealed in a Facebook video.
“Hope is something that Tajiri has not only brought to you guys as community globally now, but also hope for giraffes.
“We have been able to give giraffes a voice. We have been abel to say we are losing giraffes at incredibly fast rates and we have covent this species a hope.”
Alyssa took the opportunity to voice her confidence that Tajiri will grow up to live in a world where giraffes are plentiful.
“Hopefully when he is over 18 feet tall he will have lots of ladies, so from the bottom of my heart thank you to anyone who voted,” she said.
“Thank you for coming out to support not only our giraffes here but to support giraffes around the world.”
How was Tajiri’s name chosen?
Tajiri’s name was chosen in a 15 day online poll, where April’s fans were given a chance to vote in exchange for a small donation.
Tajiri is a Swahili name for both ‘hope’ and ‘confidence'
Alyssa, April's zookeper
The park charged 80 pence ($1) per vote and were given a minimum of five choices.
After the first stage was over, 10 names were shortlisted with “Alyssa’s choice” as one of the firm favourites.
The other name suggested were: Apollo, Geoffrey, Gio, Harpur, Noah, Ollie, Patch, Patches, Unity.
Animal Adventure Park pledged the funds from the poll towards wildlife conservation through the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Part of the funds will also be split between the zoo itself and Ava's Little Heroes – a charity campaign named after the zoo owner's daughter, who suffers with epilepsy.
What were the other name suggestions?
One April devotee suggested the baby could be named after the Greek god Apollo
Diane Cleary wrote on the park's Facebook page: “I think the baby will be born on March 8, a boy, and he will be called Apollo.”
She added: “AP from April, OL from Oliver and LO for Little One.”
Online trolls and prankster tried to hijack the voting process, suggesting the name Harambe after the gorilla killed last year in Cincinnati zoo.
One Twitter user even threatened to leave the country over the name: “If they don't name April the giraffe's baby Harambe I'm moving to Canada.”
Another person added: “Looks like it's time to start voting to name the baby giraffe after Harambe.”
Others chimed in to suggest names such as Giraffe McGiraffeface or Big Spotty Horse Long Neck.
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