The zoo said that in April, the giraffe broadcasted her pregnancy and childbirth in 2017 at a rural zoo in New York, causing a sensation, but due to increased arthritis, she was euthanized on Friday.
“She is a valuable member of our family, and although we know that this day will come, our hearts are in pain,” said Jordan Patch, the owner of the Animal Adventure Park, in a statement.
The zoo’s veterinarian said in a statement that the 20-year-old giraffe began showing signs of mobility last summer. Veterinary images showed arthritis on her feet and a problem with her left hind leg. They pointed out that animals as large as giraffes can quickly deteriorate due to arthritis.
They said that they deployed joint supplements, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, padded floors, diet changes and trimming of April̵
They said: “The severity of her condition has exceeded our ability to control the comfort level in April.”
Statistics on the life expectancy of giraffes are different. A zoo giraffe in Knoxville, Tennessee is said to be the oldest giraffe in the United States and was euthanized in 2019.
In April 2017, she attracted a huge online audience when she carried the fourth calf at the Harpursville Zoo, about 130 miles northwest of New York City. Giraffe Cam became the second most watched live broadcast in YouTube history, at least at the time. In a few months, the number of views exceeded 232 million, and the live watch time reached 7.6 billion minutes.
At least 1.2 million people watched the male calf, eventually named Tajiri, born in April.
The online fundraising campaign raised more than $150,000 for her partner and Maverick’s care in April. Other adventurous activities-including Toys’R’Us sponsorship of YouTube feeds, profitable text messaging and clothing production lines-have also brought benefits to the zoo. The owner said that this will be used for zoo maintenance, wildlife protection in Africa, and medical expenses for local children.
Paige said on Friday: “The impact of April on animal protection and appreciation is immeasurable and lasting.”
However, people who treat animals ethically criticize the zoo for turning April’s breeding activities into Internet activities.
Heather Rally, the supervising veterinarian of the animal rights organization, said: “The tragedy here is not that she died in April – that is, she has never known the audience or live-streamed cameras without knowing life.”
In March 2019, April also had another calf, Azizi, and more than 300,000 people watched it live on YouTube. In October last year, he died at a zoo in Texas.
Animal Adventure Park said that after he was born, she was contraceptive and dropped out of the breeding program.