April the Giraffe has her hooves full with five kids at the age of 17 and is ready for retirement.
Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y., announced recently on Facebook that after a life of stardom with her five children, April will be spending the remainder of her life at the park in senior care and will be placed on birth control.
“This morning we moved her and her calf into, what we call, Barn 2. … Within 15 minutes she was greeting people and it was like she never skipped a beat,” Patch told the Daily News.
April made her celebrity debut after giving birth to her fourth child in April 2017 when 300,000 viewers tuned in to watch the birth live. This past March she gave birth to her fifth child, Azizi.
Despite her move, she will remain a star on exhibit, the park said. Even though giraffes typically live up to 25 years in the wild and even more in captivity, another baby might negatively impact April’s health, according to zookeepers. The decision to move her was made by management, animal care staff and veterinarians after watching her behavior.
“Being 17 years old, and having given birth to five calves, April is a mature giraffe mother,” Patch told LiveScience in an email. “April has surely done her part in propagation and will remain a star of education and conservation initiatives.”
Patch told The News that she is being moved to a department where they can have the equipment necessary with chute training and where they can keep her on a new injected contraceptive.
April’s five children come at a time where giraffes are considered endangered, according to National Geographic: “Over the past 15 years, numbers of the world’s tallest animal have plummeted from an estimated 140,000 to a low of about 80,000. That’s a shockingly precipitous drop from the possibly more than 2 million animals that roamed the continent 150 years ago, according to the Namibia-based Giraffe Conservation Foundation.”
Since April’s fame, she has gained a large fan base. Owners of the for-profit Animal Adventure Park won’t say exactly how much April-related money they have made, but the Associated Press estimates hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“But also the money will help support our conservation efforts in Africa, so we’re actually providing tangible results for wild giraffes,” said Patch to the Associated Press in 2017, during the beginning of April’s celebrity life.