How did April the Giraffe die? YouTube sensation mourned after tragic death at 20: 'You'll live on forever'
April, whose pregnancy journey gripped the world back in 2017 died at the age of 20 and left many hearts broken
April the giraffe, whose pregnancy was live-streamed and went viral back in 2017, has died. She was pregnant for 16 months before she gave birth to her calf, Tajiri. The calf's delivery was live-streamed and garnered over 232 million live views. During the time, April's giraffe cam was the second most live-viewed channel on YouTube.
In a Facebook post by Animal Adventure Park, the zoo announced that April had to be put down on account of her arthritis worsening and the course of action was recommended by her veterinary team. Post her euthanasia, April's body was taken to the Cornell University Veterinary School for a necropsy. She is to be cremated, and her ashes will be taken back to Animal Adventure Park.
The zoo put out a statement by April's medical team. The post read: "Beginning in the summer of 2020, the staff at Animal Adventure Park began reporting changes in April's mobility. The park's veterinarians radiographed April's feet in July 2020 and noted the onset of osteoarthritis. The radiographs showed a loss of joint space and subchondral bone collapse in her left hind leg, which can be expected in a giraffe of her age.
In addition to the joint supplements, the park began multi-modal management of osteoarthritis including measures such as pain medications, anti-inflammatories, hoof trimming, installation of padded flooring and dietary changes in hopes of slowing down the progression of her condition. During each visit by the park's veterinarians, we assessed and discussed April's quality of life, which has remained a top priority while managing her condition. Unfortunately, over time, what we saw was April increasingly shifting her weight from limb-to-limb, a continual decline in mobility and spending a lot more time laying recumbent," the post read.
"The most recent set of radiographs taken in early March to evaluate her condition showed significant and progressing degeneration of the joints in her lower leg. The severity of her condition has been outpacing our ability to control April's comfort. The March 2021 observation reported advanced osteoarthritis, interphalangeal subluxation in the left rear hoof, and lameness and angular joint abnormalities in all feet. Relating these arthritic changes to personal pets (dogs, cats, horses) and even humans, can help us better understand and relate to the condition. Lameness and arthritis are amplified in animals as large as giraffes."
"While a small dog can compensate, large species, like giraffes, can deteriorate quickly. Despite Animal Adventure Park's multi-faceted approach to mitigate April's condition, it is irreversible and advancing at a rapid rate. As hard of a decision as it is, for a veterinary team and facility, it is decided that euthanasia is the most humane decision to make at this time," it explained.
Twitter was heartbroken over the news. "RIP April My heart is broken today. I enjoyed every moment watching you and you bring life into this world and being such a loving mother. You will be greatly missed #ApriltheGiraffe #Superstar #BeautifulSoul" tweeted a fan. "Rip April the Giraffe. You’ll live on with me forever!" added another.
"Truly sad news. A wonderful friend who brought joy to so many is gone too soon. RIP April The Giraffe, best giraffe ever." tweeted a user. "RIP April is trending for April the giraffe, the giraffe who went viral when she gave birth over Easter weekend in 2017. I watched this happen whilst in the doctors office for my final checkup at the OBGYN before they told me I was ready to deliver later that same day." added another.
RIP April 💔 My heart is broken today. I enjoyed every moment watching you and you bring life into this world and being such a loving mother. You will be greatly missed #ApriltheGiraffe #Superstar #BeautifulSoul pic.twitter.com/SAVIWHIQq2— Amanda C (@AmandaB4C) April 2, 2021
Rip April the Giraffe. You’ll live on with me forever! 😢🦒💜 pic.twitter.com/hER9lCxVE4— Michaela Easton (@michaela_easton) April 2, 2021
Truly sad news. A wonderful friend who brought joy to so many is gone too soon.— MisAnthroPony (@MisAnthro_Pony) April 2, 2021
RIP April The Giraffe, best giraffe ever. pic.twitter.com/AP0XGEymtV
RIP April is trending for April the giraffe, the giraffe who went viral when she gave birth over Easter weekend in 2017.— alex (@XanadUnicorn) April 2, 2021
I watched this happen whilst in the doctors office for my final checkup at the OBGYN before they told me I was ready to deliver later that same day.
Tajiri, April's fourth calf, whose birth was live-streamed, means 'hope and confidence' in Swahili. April mothered 5 giraffes in total — Levi back in 2011, Autumn in 2013, Tajiri in 2017, Azizi in 2019-2020 and another calf, whose name is unknown.
Watch the video that went viral in 2019 here: