Animal Adventure Park, located in Harpursville, New York, is best known for their reticulated giraffe family, which consists of April, Oliver, and Tajiri. AAP has been working with April, teaching her how to paint. Through positive reinforcement training, using a whistle and plenty of carrots, the giraffe has been creating several masterpieces.
The zoo has been recording the painting process, allowing those following April’s progress to view these unique training sessions. Once a painting is complete, these animal art masterpieces are auctioned off on Animal Adventure Park’s Facebook page.
AAP’s zoologist and giraffe keeper, Allysa Swilley, has been working hard to train the giraffe with positive reinforcement. Enrichment activities are an important part of the animal’s well being. When daily life at the zoo is supplemented with mind stimulating activities, the quality of the animal’s life is greatly improved. Animal Adventure Park states that “enrichment is vital to the happy and healthy well being of our animals’ bodies and minds.”
The famous giraffe first began art therapy in February, 2018. After her first painting, the zoo’s owner, Jordan Patch, realized the popularity of these painting sessions and launched a weekly segment featuring April, the animal artist. April’s first ever painting is shown below.
April the giraffe’s first painting, which debuted Valentine’s Day 2018, sold for a whopping $2,800. Since that first painting, AAP has been auctioning off each one of the giraffe’s original art pieces, numbered and dated on the back of the canvas. These creations, which are considered to be the “ultimate April the Giraffe keepsake,” are selling for thousands of dollars.
April paints live every Tuesday this month at 1 p.m. EST on the ever popular Giraffe Cam. Viewers can watch the fan favorite animal and her trainer, Allysa, hard at work creating a soon-to-be-auctioned masterpiece. The completed paintings are listed for bidding on AAP’s Facebook page.
The most recent painting, auctioned off this week on the Animal Adventure Park Facebook page, sold for $1,350.
The zoo utilizes the money raised from these auctions to continue their mission of giraffe conservation. Their mission is to educate the public via the live Giraffe Cam on YouTube and create an educational experience at the Animal Adventure Park.
Last year, the park contributed thousands of dollars to the Giraffe Conservation Fund, which helped the foundation’s aspiration of generating a sustainable future for giraffes in the wild.