The Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY made a very unexpected announcement that is sure to stun the world.

Earlier today the park broke the news April the giraffe has died by euthanasia due to debilitating arthritis. She was 20 years old. Over the past year she had state-of-the-art care and was made her as comfortable as possible. Animal Adventure Park has released a statement, here is a small portion:

April’s most recent veterinary exam identified the acceleration of April’s condition, prompting the determination that euthanasia was the humane and appropriate course of action. Following the euthanasia, her body was escorted to the Cornell University Veterinary School by the Patch family, where a necropsy will be completed. She will then be cremated, and her ashes will be returned to Animal Adventure Park. To gain a deeper understanding of April’s condition and this decision, please review the following details from her veterinary team and caretakers.

Animal Adventure Park would like the world to know that steps were taken to keep April as comfortable as possible:

 Over the past year, accommodations were made and treatments performed, including yard substrate changes, installation of a state-of-the-art padded barn flooring system, coupled with farrier work, dietary and medical changes. April’s most recent veterinary exam identified the acceleration of April’s condition, prompting the determination that euthanasia was the humane and appropriate course of action.

The world watched and waited day after day in April's late stages of pregnancy and 1.2 million watched her give birth to Tajiri in 2017 and again with Azzi in 2019, who unexpectedly passed away at the East Texas Zoo and Gator Park. Overall April had 4 live calves.

Statement from Animal Adventure Park:

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that Animal Adventure Park announces the tremendous loss of our beloved April the Giraffe. Euthanasia was carried out at April’s home in Harpursville this morning, due to her worsening arthritis, in accordance with the recommendations of her veterinary team. We grieve with her many fans, near and far, as we say goodbye to the giraffe that can be credited with making a foothold for giraffe and giraffe conservation awareness in the 21st century. April the Giraffe became a viral sensation and household name in 2017, winning admirers around the globe as the world watched her labor and delivery with bated breath via a YouTube live stream. Since then, April has been one of the world’s most famous animals, and in turn, has made a profound impact on giraffe conservation, education and appreciation. While her hoofprints in her yard will erode in time, the imprint she has made on the hearts of people around the world will never fade."

Jordon Patch, Owner of Animal Adventure Park:

“April the Giraffe brought joy to the millions who have watched her via the park’s Giraffe Cam, and the hundreds of thousands of visitors who have made the trip to her home in Harpursville, New York...To her keepers and our team here at the park, she is a precious member of our family, and while we knew this day would eventually come, our hearts are hurting. April’s impact on animal conservation and appreciation are both immeasurable and lasting. The loss of an animal as loved as she will be felt in our community, around the country and across the world. We appreciate respect and empathy from April’s fans and the park’s supporters during this difficult time, as they grieve along with us. She will be deeply missed and fondly remembered. April, in her own special way, changed the world.”

TSM

Statement from Animal Adventure Park’s veterinary team:

“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 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."

Photo via Animal Adventure Park

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