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Animal Adventure Gearing Up To Celebrate Tajiri's First Birthday

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HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. -

The baby giraffe that became part of an international phenomenon is turning one this weekend, and Animal Adventure Park is ready to celebrate.

April the Giraffe gave birth to Tajiri one year ago Sunday, on April 15th. The park is planning to celebrate starting at 10 a.m. with a cake for the calf, along with other goodies.

“April the Giraffe and Tajiri the Giraffe, even Oliver have really become a household name for many animal lovers and specifically giraffe lovers out there.”

Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park, remembers the day like it was yesterday.

“Everyone was ready, but still waiting, and anxious, and I remember waking up the morning of the birth again ready, waiting, but anxious.”

April the Giraffe’s birth video drew 15.3 million views and 200,000 visitors to the park during the 2017 season.

Now, Tajiri weighs approximately 1,000 pounds and stands 10 feet tall.

“Which is a far cry from the 5’ 9”, 129-pound calf he was one year ago.”

Patch and park staff will have some tough decisions to make after Tajiri’s birthday. The baby giraffe is reaching the age where he needs to leave his mother, and be on his own.

“Naturally in the wild, male giraffes leave mom and then leave the rest of the giraffe group also and become nomadic bachelors. So this is all normal progression, on the perfect timeline for him.”

But in the calf’s past year at his hometown in Harpursville, he’s helped Animal Adventure’s 225 animals and over 100 species grow in ways Patch never thought was possible.

“We’ve acquired more land, 113 additional acres, we’ve built new welcome centers, brick and mortar bathrooms are in the plans, we’ve expanded a lot of the infrastructure for the people, but improved the exhibits for the animals also.”

When it comes to more babies for April, Patch plans to address the rumors soon.

“April was cleared last fall for another pregnancy should nature take its course, and we naturally allow that to occur here at the park, we don’t intervene. By all means, they’ve gone on dates, they’ve courted one another, we’ll find out soon enough if we are expecting another calf.”

Animal Adventure Park reopens May 16th. Tajiri’s birthday celebration will be live streamed starting at 10 a.m. Sunday at aprilthegiraffe.com.