Millions of people watched his birth, and now April the celebrity giraffe’s baby is moving to North Carolina.
In February 2017, the Animal Adventure Park in Hapursville, New York set up a camera to capture the pregnancy and delivery of April the reticulated giraffe.
The live stream on YouTube had a ToysRUs sponsorship and the April 15, 2017 birth was watched live by more than 1.2 million viewers. In the first 48 hours, the birth video had more than 14 million views.
Tajiri was born weighing nearly 130 pounds and standing a shaky 5-foot-nine-inches, according to Animal Adventure Park.
Now, at about one-and-a-half years old, Tajiri is expected to move to the Carolina Wildlife Conservation Park “outside of Raleigh” this fall, where “he will be starting his new family,” the Wildlife Conservation Center in Virginia (WCC) announced.
Reticulated giraffes reach maturity at about 3 to 4 years old, according to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), but in the wild, male giraffes may not mate until they are 6 or 7.
The gestation period for giraffes is more than a year — usually up to 15 months, according to WAZA. The mother typically gives birth to a single baby, or calf, while standing up. A healthy calf can walk within an hour of being born.
The Carolina Wildlife Conservation Park is “a new educational facility that is currently under construction and slated to be open to the public in the spring of 2019,” according to WCC. Harnett County considered and approved a site near Lillington for the park earlier this summer.
The Animal Adventure Park announced Tajiri’s move on Facebook on Sept. 4:
“This move will allow Tajiri to play a vital role in the conservation and propagation initiatives that align with the facilities mission statements,” the park wrote. “His new female companions will join him as he progresses into maturity to continue the genetic pool of healthy giraffes in management programs.”
Tajiri will move in to his new habitat next month, the park said.
The WCC, a nonprofit wildlife conservation facility in Arrington, Va., was asked to oversee Tajiri’s relocation and new home.
A WCC veterinarian and her team are designed Tajiri’s new barn and habitat, according to WCC, with help from the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro and other zoos.
Construction began on Tajiri’s new home on Aug. 31, according to WCC.
At the time of Tajiri’s birth, a GoFundMe for the care of Animal Adventure Park giraffes raised $170,510.
To donate to Tajiri’s care, click here.