April 15 will go down in history as the day the earth stood still — to witness the birth of a baby giraffe.
Thanks to the live cam installed by Animal Adventure Park, over 1,200,000 viewers watched as April the giraffe gave birth to an adorable little calf. The live giraffe cam was installed by Animal Adventure Park in February. Since then, millions logged in every day to watch April’s progress.
To the disappointment of many, the zoo has now announced the live feed will be stopped and the cam will be taken down on Friday. The park, however, has promised that they are figuring out other ways to keep the viewing public in touch with April and her calf.
Jordan Patch, the owner of Animal Adventure Park, shared his experience and life lessons learnt during his journey with April and the zoo crew.
“It’s like managing a fan base similar to that of a celebrity. April certainly became the face of giraffes worldwide,” Patch said. “With that comes emails, packages, postal mail, and many other forms of communication. It involves working with local companies, and some afar, to develop business systems to handle the volume of site visitors, retail item demand, massive text alert projects, and so on.”
“We had to think globally, while working from a small town in upstate NY. All of this being accomplished while remaining grounded and focused on the actual purpose behind it all — a beautiful baby giraffe and his larger-than-life mother, April.”
In just a couple of months, Animal Adventure Park has brought giraffes to the forefront of world conversation, united many over a natural process (birth), and educated them along the way.
“The ripple effect in the months and years to come will be what is interesting to watch. I hope we have inspired young and old, private citizen to large corporation, to get involved in conservation, and perhaps a bit more understanding of the purpose and role animal parks play in the preservation of the species in our care and the education of the public that walk through our gates (or watch our cams).”
“Regardless of your stance on captive management programs and the role they play, you cannot deny that millions have been educated, and that’s a win for the animals,” Patch said.
While millions are disappointed that the live stream is about to stop, Jordan promised that they are designing more experiences that viewers will enjoy.
“More cameras will come. To continue to educate, we envision different species cams, on rotational basis, educating the public on the featured animals and their conservation needs. To some, we will become a ‘virtual zoo.’ They may never travel here, but will gain the many positive effects of our efforts, and we will engage them with our mission of education through interaction,” he said.
On the personal front, Patch says he found it challenging to manage his home and work lives during April’s rise to viral fame. Jordan said his wife Colleen has been an absolute tower of strength.
“Being a small business owner, your business is one of your babies. It joins you at the dinner table, it wakes you up in the middle of the night, it demands your attention, it brings you joy, and can disappoint you,” he said.
“I have had, to the best of my ability, carve out family and ‘me’ time. My wife, Colleen, has held together everything (and me) behind the scenes. She has supported every crazy twist and turn, and has been the brief reprieve I needed at times. She has also listened — which is what I really have needed the most during this time. With her help, I have learned to look past the one negative and see the grove of positives. Again, when someone may not agree with what you do or how you do something with your business, they “attack” your baby, and you can’t help but focus on and dwell on that issue. The giraffe cam has certainly been a tool of personal growth for me. I learned to breathe,” he said.
Whatever Animal Adventure Park and April the giraffe have in store for the world—Jordan Patch—one thing is certain: we’ll be watching.
[Featured Image by Animal Adventure Park]