“Our hearts are hurting.” April, giraffe who gained fame after giving birth online, has died at Animal Adventure Park

April became the world’s most famous giraffe after her pregnancy and delivery was live-streamed in 2017, is now being mourned around the world after her death was announced Friday.

Her arthritis had become so painful and unmanageable, Animal Adventure Park said vets recommended the humane thing to do for the giraffe was for her to be euthanized.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that Animal Adventure Park announces the tremendous loss of our beloved April the Giraffe,” the New York state facility sadly announced on Good Friday. “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.”

April was 20.

Staff started noticing changes in April’s mobility last summer.

In July, her feet were radiographed and vets detected the onset of osteoarthritis.

They began a regime of joint supplements, hoof trimming, padded flooring and medication to control pain and inflammation. Officials hoped to give her a better quality of life.

“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 facility’s veterinary team explained.

A closer look at her legs last month detected “significant and progressing degeneration” of the joints. It was so severe, her condition was outpacing the park’s ability to make her comfortable.

Animal Adventure Park and fans around the world are mourning the loss of April the Giraffe. Photo: Animal Adventure Park/Facebook

“Despite Animal Adventure Park’s multi-faceted approach to mitigate April’s condition, it is irreversible and advancing at a rapid rate,” vets added.

Captive giraffes can typically live to 20 to 25 year, compared to 10 to 15 years in the wild.

But the world had never seen a giraffe more famous than April.

April’s delivery of a male calf named Tajiri was viewed live by more than 1 million people on YouTube in 2017. Since then, almost 17 million people have watched the birth online.

April and her calf outside for the first time in April, 2017. Photo: April The Giraffe/Twitter

Since then, she had another calf, which was also posted live online in 2019.

April had five calves altogether.

April and her famous calf in the spring of 2017. Photo: 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,” Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park, said in a statement on Facebook. “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, he added, will be long lasting.

Devastating news for everyone who loved April. Photo: Animal Adventure Park/Facebook

“We appreciate respect and empathy from April’s fans and the park’s supporters during this difficult time, as they grieve along with us,” Patch added. ” She will be deeply missed and fondly remembered. April, in her own special way, changed the world.”

It is with the heaviest of hearts that Animal Adventure Park announces the tremendous loss of our beloved April the…

Posted by Animal Adventure Park on Friday, April 2, 2021

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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