For those that visited Animal Adventure Park this week, the experience was surreal. After months of watching April the giraffe on a small screen, an in-person meeting with the lovely long neck and her calf in person was truly exhilarating.
Jordan Patch, the charismatic owner of Animal Adventure Park, was as involved as the visitors. Patch interacted with children and grown-ups at the park and introduced them to his animals.
April, in particular, has been on her best behavior, he said.
“April did not skip a beat! She knows the routine, and to her, visitors mean carrot treats! She has been a gracious host,” said the giraffe whisperer.
On the park’s Facebook page, Jordan Patch constantly receives encouraging messages from fans around the world, but meeting them in person was a whole new experience.
“It is very humbling to hear, first hand, the impact the giraffe cam made on the lives of the viewers. We have met and welcomed guests from around the world in only three days of being open thus far. It is also quite rewarding to see them meet the giraffes, in person, for the first time — some reduced to tears!” Patch told the Inquisitr.
Kim Smith, who works as an accounts manager, flew all the way from Florida to New York to meet April and Tajiri.
She, along with her mother, Nancy, carried home fond memories of Animal Adventure Park.
Kim, who has seen the pregnant giraffe on the live cam, was exhilarated to see April and her calf in the flesh. Tajiri is absolutely beautiful. He is spunky and inquisitive, she said.
“He was curious about all the people and didn’t seem afraid. But when we were around, he didn’t go to the fence. I don’t think he is food-motivated yet like April, but he was not afraid at all. I was amazed at how big he got in a month,” she said.
“I wanted so badly to get close to him and kiss his nose, but he didn’t come anywhere near the fence. But I did get to kiss April’s. You can’t put a price on that. My heart is full today,” said Kim.
Echoing the views of many, Kim’s mother, Nancy West, said she was grateful for the experience.
“In a world with so many difficult challenges, April and the birth of her baby brought such joy and love to me and my daughter,” she said.
Artist Kelly Bain, who was at the park on the opening day with her teenage daughter, was spellbound.
“You simply cannot properly represent the whole park in words and picture. It is a joy and my visit was one of the best days of my life! You just have to go there in person,” she said.
Kelly, who is renowned for her artworks of April, said that the giraffe has a sweet personality.
“Adults and children alike were elated to feed April and she never tired of receiving the treats. She was very gentle and calm all day. Her sweet personality that we have all gotten to know through the webcam over the past few months really shined even more so in person! She was not shy, not jumpy at all,” said Kelly.
There were three buses of school children there and April the giraffe was right in the middle of everyone, letting them pet her and feed her, she said.
Besides the famous giraffe family, the park also houses Arctic wolves, black bears, an Asian water buffalo, a dromedary camel, llamas, rabbits, hyenas, zebras, capuchin monkeys, and more.
Over all, everyone was happy and carried home fond memories of April the giraffe and Animal Adventure Park.
Check out April's other friends at Animal Adventure Park pic.twitter.com/drIYslbrkL
— Caroline Diana (@CarolShadowfax) May 16, 2017
Did you visit April the giraffe? Share your experience in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Kelly Bain]