The Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, has been in the news quite frequently as of late, and it’s all because of an expectant female giraffe named April. The giraffe’s frequently-updated progress through labor has helped the animal itself become a viral pop culture sensation, but due to recent suggestions that April and her mate, Oliver, aren’t being properly fed, the AAP used its most recent Facebook update to debunk these claims. The park also shared a recent interview with owner Jordan Patch, shedding further light on the park’s operations, as well as on April herself.
Today’s April the Giraffe updates had seen more of the same, according to Animal Adventure Park’s Facebook page. With park employees uncharacteristically busy earlier today, the morning update was slightly delayed, but at the moment, April is still “doing great,” with no concerns from zoo officials and employees. The zoo also teased the slight possibility of a “St. Patrick’s Day baby,” though on a more pointed note, today’s delayed “late morning/early afternoon update” addressed allegations that employees might not be feeding the giraffes, April and her “baby daddy” Oliver included, like they should.
“In one last desperate plea for those to cease, and explanation — do not worry! The giraffes are cared for every morning, afternoon, and evening without any reminders. Their shared enrichment feeder is not their main food source; and those main sources and their waters are off screen and filled from outside the stalls.”
As of 6 p.m. EDT, thousands of viewers are still eagerly watching the Animal Adventure Park’s giraffe cam, with no substantial developments at the moment, according to the Telegraph. Some viewers have also taken to Twitter to post humorous quips about the waiting game they’re playing, as they hope to witness April the Giraffe in the process of giving birth.
“When you realize you’ve been pregnant for 15 months and just want it to be over with.”
In another key April the Giraffe update, the Animal Adventure Park Facebook account posted an article from blogger Sarah Belanger, who published her interview with Jordan Patch earlier today on her website, Sincerely Anchored. The interview took place a few months ago, at a time when Patch was expecting April to give birth in January or February, and it included several interesting insights from the AAP owner, who talked about how the zoo acquired April and Oliver, and how the two giraffes were paired up with each other.
“Oliver came from a facility that needed to place a young male that was approaching maturity,” said Patch. “I wouldn’t say he was ‘rescued’ in the sense of poor conditions; but instead given a welcome mat to become the star of a new facility. April came from a very nice place in New York that was rekindling their genetics. April was available and was the perfect fit to show Oliver the ropes of how to grow up as a giraffe.”
Patch talked about how Animal Adventure Park made the necessary preparations for April and Oliver’s arrival, and how giraffes, despite being easy to take care of, could pose a lot of challenges and risks when placed in dangerous situations.
According to Patch, he doesn’t have any specific favorites among all the animals in AAP. He did note, however, that he and his wife are “really emotionally involved” with these creatures, and that he encourages guests to ask questions about the animals, as they’re likely to get a “complete background” packed with little-known facts and stories about them.
Given the sensitive nature of the Animal Adventure Park’s earlier April the Giraffe update, it was interesting that Jordan Patch was also asked about his zoo’s feeding practices, and how food is regulated when visitors constantly feed the animals.
“The pellet guests feed is not a grain; instead a hay stretcher. This slows their actual grass hay consumption during the season, but does not cause weight issues. They beauty of the interactions/feedings is that they aren’t force. We can’t make them eat. When they do it, it’s because they want to.”
Currently, Animal Adventure Park has more than 20 staffers with a variety of backgrounds, as well as plans to expand “in the next year or so,” with a Wilds of Asia building confirmed and a South American building also in the works. And with these big plans in mind, Patch concluded his interview by encouraging guests to “help spread the word” about AAP and thanking them for their continued support.
Be sure to check back regularly, as the Inquisitr continues to provide its own regular April the Giraffe updates.
[Featured Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]