April the giraffe finally had her calf as 1.2 million onlookers around the world kept their eyes glued to the live feed from the Animal Adventure Park, located 130 miles outside of New York City. After the calf's birth and gender were revealed, the zoo held a contest to determine a name for the newborn. The winning name came from Allysa Swilley, the zoo's giraffe keeper. The male calf has been named Tajiri, which means “hope” in Swahili. Except it doesn’t. "Hope" is usually translated as "tarajio" or "matumaini."
In Swahili, the name actually translates to “rich” or “wealthy." Ironic, as the GoFundMe account set up for April has raised more than $150,000. The GoFundMe account, which has since been disasbled, was set up to help with the costs of April's pregnancy and will also go towards helping out around the zoo. The park also expects twice as many visitors as last year, as many as 150,000 guests, who will be charged $11-$13 dollars per ticket. This revenue alone will generate upwards of $2,000,000 for the zoo. The park owner, Jordan Patch, said the money will be used for park growth, wildlife conservation in Africa, and helping local children with unexpected medical expenses. But he also stated the money would be used to launch a brand of marketing products centered around the giraffe family.
Regardless of the name mix-up, Tajiri is adorable. Appearing hooves first, he weighed 150 pounds and stretched 6-feet-tall. The father, Oliver, was not in the pen when Tajiri was born. as male giraffes do not partake in the birthing process. As a matter of fact, Oliver was not allowed much time with April as male giraffes only want to eat, mate, or fight. This is Oliver’s first calf and April’s fourth.
April is 15 years old, which is the average lifespan of giraffes in the wild, but in captivity they can live as long as 20-25 years. April is expected to make a full recovery from the birth and possibly shock the world with another calf. For now though, we all are happy with baby Tajiri.