April the Giraffe Update
It was a special day at the park!
Azizi & Oliver “officially” met on exhibit with April supervising.
Giraffe cam watchers, lucky enough to be tuned in, were able to take delight in the unannounced special moments between the giraffe family.
Today, our team welcomed Tajiri & Johari into their new exhibit yard!
Fresh soft sand, room to run, and a team giving the thumbs up!
A few changes and modifications and they will be ready for our guests May 1st – opening day!
Tajiri and Johari the Giraffe
BabyTajiri and Johari at Animal Advennture Park
Tajiri the Giraffe
We have a name!
Azizi (Ah-ZEE-ZEE) "Azi" "Az"
Fans cast their votes in an online naming contest, narrowing the options down to a pool of 20 names. Fans ultimately picked ‘Keeper’s Choice’, passing the big decision to the beloved giraffe care team. The team chose to honor one of the top 20 name selections voted on by our fans.
Azizi, having a few origins, has meanings that truly identify with the personality of the young male giraffe. Precious, powerful, beloved, and “the mighty one” are descriptive of our independent calf, that will someday grow to a possible eighteen feet and weigh over 2,000 pounds. Other top contenders included Finnegan, Apollo, and Zumi.
Oliver and April welcomed the healthy calf on Saturday, March 16th. He’s now weighing in at over 170 lbs, and stands 6’ tall!
Azizi the Giraffe
Spring has Sprung!
Our calf continues to progress and develop!
We are very happy to report the calf continues to gain weight, which indicates proper lactation and nursing!
April and calf are both learning the daily routine and allowing our team to get hands on, to perform wellness checks and record necessary data.
April the Giraffe`s Calf
Make no mistake, every calf born counts!
With wild giraffe populations plummeting, now more than ever, successes in responsible propagation programs are continuing to provide strong genetic diversity in captive management programs. These bloodlines are the future bloodlines that can reestablish wild populations.
Much like the success in recent years with the reintroduction of the once extinct in the wild, scimitar oryx, to native ranges; captive management programs do serve a purpose, and do send animals "home"!
What must we do?
Conserve and preserve natural habitats, to give them a fighting chance. Support conservation initiatives and sustainable practices that can allow human and animal to coexist. It can, and does happen!
We are happy to report, the new calf has had a strong and adventurous first couple days of life!
The little guy is up 5 lbs from yesterday! To us, this means mom is producing milk and baby is nursing successfully!
His ossicones (black hair tufts at this time) have stood up on his head!
The calf has been observed by Giraffe Cam viewers, stretching those legs in full stride, galloping around mom, April! She certainly has her hooves full with this one!
We captured this sweet moment today of baby and Dad, Oliver.
Olive and baby
April and baby boy update:
How Many Babies Does April the Giraffe Have?
March 16th 12:43 pm
Welcome to the world little one!
Early this morning, April’s behavior suggested a calf was on the way. Team members cleaned and prepared and then left the barn to give April her space.
Approximately 11:00 am, Jordan entered the barn to check April, who laid with her back end just out of camera view on both camera angles. Upon Jordan’s entry to the barn, April stood up and revealed that she had in fact been in labor and the calf’s hooves and first 8-10” of leg were emerging!
Labor alerts were quickly initiated, Veterinary and park staff called to the barn and we watched with over 300k other viewers!
Approximately 12:43 pm, our calf made its big “splash” into the world! Dr Tim quickly identified we had welcomed a baby boy!
Calf and mother bonded quickly.
Calf was on it’s feet around 1:27 pm
Nursing was observed 1:51 pm
Teams have since left the barn to allow mom and calf to continue their bond and build strength.
Tomorrow, a full exam of the calf will take place and provide weight and height.
It's a boy! April's New baby's gender has been revealed.
1:00 am eastern April began to spend much more time cleaning and stimulating her back end. The behavior continues at this time.
Significant discharge is present until cleaned, and that cycle continues.
Keep April, Dr Tim, and our Team in your thoughts as we navigate the coming hours, maybe day, perhaps longer, as we approach what would suggest the arrival of a new calf.
Another April Curveball? Stay tuned!
Her back leg and all levs are fine. they get achey like anyone carrying a baby!
She’s acing and crouching a lot, looks like she might have baby very soon
March 15th EVENING Update:
"I Survived the Glitch of 3/15"
Quite the afternoon for cam viewers and chatters!
Many tuned in and witnessed the same thing Jordan did, which had him rushing to the park! Was that hooves? The "bubble" (amniotic sac)? She's licking and it appears SOMETHING is there!
A race to the park and a few phone calls, Dr Tim & Jordan arrived at the same time. What did they discover? A giraffe not in labor and the camera had a serious glitch! On screen, was a frozen frame from the afternoon, in the Birds Eye view, and a delayed webcam view. Better now than the big moment to discover this issue!
After some help from our techie Adam, and a lot of cam switches back and forth, all was well. But, it may have taken chat a good 15 minutes to settle – but we are now back on track!
As for April, what can we say?
All signs point to a Go Time!
Discharge present in photo – full udder!
Healthy, Happy, Hungry.
March 14th EVENING Update April the Giraffe
Day observations revealed a lot of manifested pressure on also pacing (walking through contractions?).
Corey & Alexis' evening Keeper Check confirmed significant white, thick, discharge.
Behavior had the team caution. Cautious enough that mammary development photos were not taken, and distance was kept. While her interest in treats was obvious to cam viewers, she was cautious of those around her.
Keeper's also observed "spasms" in the muscles where the "belly" meets the "hip", which could be contractions.
Based on all observations, as a precaution, teams did bed down the stall with additional substrate in the event of an evening or early morning delivery.
So – Lucky Number 15?
Tajiri was born on the 15th of April, to a 15 year old & 15 foot tall April, after a 15 month gestation…. tomorrow's date? The 15th.
March 13th EVENING Update:
Many viewers were shocked to see D. Tim in the barn around 5:30 am this morning. While it was a scheduled early stop, April's behavior had him reconsidering his day's plan. April was not responsive to some of the Dr.'s treat offerings and hands on examination. This behavior could suggest some of that trance like focus during the labor process – but yet again – the day carried on, along with April's antics!
She spent the day eating & resting and enjoying enrichment feeders!
Afternoon checks were as expected, so Jordan & Dr Tm thought they would remind April of just how fun and cute baby giraffes are! Perhaps we tried too hard?
Udders full, back end swollen, muscles/ligaments relaxed… Ready when you are April!
March 12th EVENING Update:
"Feeeeed Me Corey…"
– April in the voice of Audrey II (little shop of horrors)
You saw it, we saw it, Oliver saw it!
April ate all day long!
A big appetite is a good thing, but what does it mean? Much like human mothers might report an increased appetite before labor, our April could be experiencing the same thing. As much as we try not to compare animals to humans – it is the best way to explain and allow some of you to relate!
We continued to observe raised and extended tail movements, also swell of the back end with added pressure, throughout the day.
Tonight we wanted to focus on the udders a bit more in our photos. Pictured, you can see the full udder and four teats. Notice the teats presenting the white wax caps, that we so heavily talked about back in 2017. The wax caps are produced by the body to clean out the milk ducts, and preserve them, while keeping all the nutritious colostrum and milk inside until the calf's nursing.
Now naturally being Taco Tuesday, some Mexican was just what the Doctor ordered (literally)!
Continue to watch, engage, learn, and communicate what you learn on our platforms about giraffes and this journey we are on. Conservation Through Education!
March 11th EVENING Update:
"Ah, push it, p-push it real good" – Salt N Pepa
Repeat after me, p-push it real good!
This afternoon, teams assembled at the park based on Giraffe Cam & Keeper observations of what appeared to be contractions, with "pushing". Every few minutes, April would extend her tail and her back end would bulge an additional couple inches away from the body due to pressure. This was observed repeatedly, along with discharge – prompting cleaning, bedding, and preparedness. Lo and behold, April was being April.
Her udders are full. Back end in full swell. Discharge is being observed. Nothing left to do but PUSH!
In the spirit of wanting to "assist" April with advancing, Dr Tim has returned to tried and true induction science – Candy & Pickles!
He says close, I say Imminent.
Tomato – Tomata!
In truth, April is well. The pregnancy is predictably unpredictable, and we turn out the lights another night to see what the evening and morning hours bring.
March 10th EVENING Update:
"A little to the left…"
Both Keeper and Dr Tim reports today noted relatively normal interaction with them after the initial morning routine, while the cam viewers did continue to note and see periods of gazing when no one was in the barn.
There was interest in grain this evening versus minimal to none this morning.
The slight jumps viewers observe on the cam are the result of pressure and calf kicks, so w do know baby is alive and well, and positioning.
Our team has no concern for April, and continue to monitor, but we will admit – all signs pointed to a weekend calf. Again – we watch and wait.
Promising and new is that April's tail is now hanging and pinning to the left a bit, which is appropriate and expected positioning for the big moment.
March 9th EVENING Update:
"Fool me once…" – Everyone Watching
Corey’s morning reports had Jordan & Dr Tim both reporting to the park and assessing April's progression. All physical & behavioral signs indicate we are simply waiting for the big moment. The decision was made to apply extra bedding to the stall for the anticipated birth.
More than days prior, viewers witnessed April's behavioral being extremely off. Standing in one place, staring at the wall, and simply not responding to activity around her.
Without question we are there – its a matter of when.
With darkness soon falling on the park, and many of our viewers, it should be an interesting next 12 hours!
Pass the time by leaving your day and time predictions for having a calf on the ground, in the comments section!!
March 8th EVENING Update:
"MAKE 'EM WAIT" – April the giraffe
There is not much more we can say or report; she is ready to go!
Udders are filled, consistent discharge, calf has shifted around a bit! Back end is swollen, ligaments loosened, tail raising and to the side a bit. These are all signs we are there!
She could go at night, dawn, the day or at dusk!
So, pass the time with a review of when the world welcomed Tajiri the Giraffe April 15th 2017!
March 7th EVENING Update:
"We got, What we wanted!"
From this morning, to this evening, April has profoundly advanced.
We have consistent stringy discharge with the desired clear/cloudy coloration. This would support why April was spending a bit of time at her back end this afternoon.
April also spent some time cleaning the udder area. Full blown fill of the udders, with coloration change in the teats was noted by both today's vet check and keeper check.
Some of the focused pacing behavior has been observed early evening, which is a tell tale sign of what's to come. This should continue to increase.
Extended periods of tail raising suggest movement and pressure.
Perhaps start reevaluating your weekend schedule?
March 6th Evenging Update April the Giraffe
"Keeper Tested, April Approved"
April has continued to keep us all on edge today after the start of thick discharge, lots of tail raising, & obvious calf re-positioning. With all that excitement and anticipation, comes the need to also get goofy!
Animal Care Team members had the evening off for AAP sponsored staff bonding, so Jordan (and family) took control of the barn! Extra carrots, extra help, and an extra fluffy hay bed!
Udders are comparable in size to what they were days prior Taj's birth in 2017.
Discharge continues a slow, thick drip.
April's appetite was strong this evening – grain, carrots, and hay! Couldn't get enough!
She did not mind her visitors, and was agreeable to hands-on checks. Dr. Tim also noted in his check, she was a bit more "needy" and less "standoffish".
25 days till egg on the face! I think I will be ok!
Calf tonight? I don't think so – but hey – I've been wrong before!
March 6th MORNING Update April the Giraffe
"Photos don't do it justice!" – Corey
As predicted – April's evening brought new changes this morning, prompting keeper notification sent to both park management and veterinary team.
Udders have filled.
We have yellow/cloudy discharge.
Dr Tim's request is to observe discharge amounts/presence throughout day. If still there this afternoon (steady discharge), it is good indication we are "there". Now of course, "there", could be hours, a day or so, perhaps… so I'll take the blame here and say – things are looking "imminent" (-Jordan).
What I will promise, it won't be two months of waiting!
Should we hit April 1st – I will literally wipe egg from my face!
March 5th Update:
"She keeps me up at night!"
April had quite a night last night, and tonight will likely prove to be similar. Back end licks, tail raising, and "pushes" (imagined or not) – had us up, and watching – ready to initiate the Labor Alert Text System! One thing everyone can agree on, is April is enjoying her evening hay beds; whether for comfort, enrichment, or a late night snack!
This evening's photos show just how developed the udders are, and how swollen and raised her back end is.
To the naked eye, day to day, it appears we have enlargement/growth/fill.
Behavior continues to be a bit spotty; specifically her changing interest in food which yields quicker vet and keeper checks. Some cam watchers have noted her new sparked interest in Oliver over the stall walls.
While cleaning stalls today, April enjoyed rubbing on and messing with Oliver – while he (of course) ate her remaining grain!
Perhaps some sleep tonight, but why do I think we'll be counting giraffes instead!
Motion in the….Belly!
Dr Tim reports feeling more of the calf on the right side of April, than in prior days. Colton reports significant visible movement! Cam viewers – we know you see it too! This suggests the little one is moving around and positioning!
Interest in grain was not as strong at first when fed this evening, though she appears to be nibbling at this time. Behavior is a bit more noticeably off. While she is not showing any signs of aggression, or aggravation, she is not as keen to having visitors.
Mammary development is same as day prior. Back end swell is significantly noticeable to even the cam viewers!
We watch and we wait!
What's your prediction for a birth date?
March 3rd Update:
April continues to advance, her size quite impressive!
She continues to show interest in food items and is accepting of keeper veterinary inspection. We do observe periods of neck extensions, tail raising, and "zoning out" – but could be due to a number of variables related to the pregnancy; calf movement, cramps, gas, etc.
Mammary development is visible to the eye from a distance. Back end is quite swollen and continues to tease us with leakage/discharge traces.
When will she go into labor? We simply don't know – and certainly have no prediction! (Lesson learned!)
April continues to advance! We have a slow fIll of the udder.
We continue to have a slight gooey discharge.
April the giraffe
April shows interest in hay, fair weather on grain. Otherwise, behavior is standard.
Colton reports significant calf movement!
April continues to swell on the back end, with a slight discharge.
Mammary development is significant, with udders filling.
Pacing and stargazing behavior observed.
Our entire team remains on standby. While we are not in labor, we will continue to monitor progression.
April the Giraffe
Well, giraffe fans, it’s been some time since an update of this nature. Ironically on the anniversary of the camera truly going viral!
We did not anticipate doing anything like this for another 1-2 weeks.
April is advancing. Behavioral and physical changes are suggesting we are very much moving towards having a calf. Perhaps sooner than end of March, as originally predicted based on keeper observations. (But hey – we’ve been wrong before)
Wax caps have been present, udders are developing/filling.
Star gazing behaviors were observed today and lack luster interest in feed.
While we do not anticipate a calf this evening, tomorrow is another day.
We do have the labor text alert for those interested and not wanting to miss a moment
April the Giraffe Cam – Animal Adventure Park
Funds raised, will once again, be gifted to Giraffe Conservation Initiatives, Ava's Little Heroes (sick children & their families), & support of Animal Adventure.
Stay with us while we are live, open a second browser window to view the Taj Cam once it launches at 10:30 am
I can't think of anyone that would love those giraffes more than Alyssa. I can't think of anyone that would provide better care for them, or would be more concerned for their safety than Alyssa. So with that said, whatever happened, I'm shocked that Jordan could not address the situation with Alysaa, and give her a second chance, and explain it can't happen again. Whatever happened, it sure will follow her now. Jordan has put it out there that she was let go due to animal safety and security reasons. It will be very hard for her to be hired anywhere now working in the same field. A real shame as she has such a gift and love for these animals that she cared for. Obviously I don't know the details of what happened, but I think she was a huge asset to AAP, and to April, Oliver, and Taj. It's bad enough that April is losing Taj, but now she must endure losing Alyssa.
She posted on her instagram: Alyssa Instgram
I will never not talk about this. This topic will always hit me right at my core.
According to The American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 US women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This absolutely incredible woman was 1 in 8.
In the United States alone, an estimated 330,080 women and 2,550 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer THIS YEAR. 40,920 will not win their fight.
My hero beat breast cancer. We’ve celebrated a year of her being cancer free and expect to celebrate cancer free years for the rest of her life. I am thankful every day that my mom is a survivor. Thankful that she is every bit of warrior that she is. Thankful that she caught it in time. That it was detected early.
Early detection saves lives. Clearly.
Get your yearly mammogram. As my mom says “Yes! Yearly!” Be proactive. Take the time to check yourself, check your partner, and check your friends. Seriously, if they ask you to feel them up give them a hand…or two
I will always love her. More than any of you could possibly understand. But I’ve moved on. Got a new job. It’s just not my place to give her the love I used to anymore.