Animal Adventure Park owner talks the future of April, her calf, and the webcam
HARPURSVILLE, New York (FOX 13) - April's baby giraffe weighed in Tuesday at a whopping 133 pounds, a gain of four pounds over the past few days, and as he grows, he will get to have his first taste of the great outdoors as early as this weekend, said Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park.
The owner of the Harpursville, New York-based park was surprised by the success of the giraffe cam that opened the window of April's pregnancy and birth to the world, but he says he certainly understands why.
"People fell in love with April and we can't blame them," Patch said in a Facetime interview with FOX 13. "People became emotionally invested into her journey and her pregnancy and into the unborn calf."
WATCH: April the giraffe gives birth!
Right now, he says, the baby is doing perfect. He's eating well, April is a wonderful mother, and Oliver is inquisitive, putting his nose up to the fence to get a peek at his bouncing baby boy.
"The males play no part in rearing their young," Patch said, but added that his inquisitive behavior shows that the three may be able to share a space together in the future.
Though the park promised the web cam will stay up five days after the baby's birth, Patch said they will announce on Friday exactly what time the live camera that captivated the world throughout the duration of April's pregnancy and birth will go down, but says there are also plans in the works to have a permanent yard cam for people to watch after the park opens up for the season.
MORE: Baby giraffe watch consumes the internet
There will also be rotating exhibit cameras to highlight some of the more than 80 species that call the 20-acre facility home in order to help spread the park's message of conservation.
"We're not going to disappear," Patch pledged. "When you have that many people in tune to what you are doing, don't waste that period of time."
The park is based on an interactive, educational approach in hopes that education turns into conservation, says Patch.
"We're pushing that conversation which was once dubbed the silent extinction for giraffes. Everyone that follows this knows that giraffes are in trouble and they need our help," he said.
The giraffe population has plummeted by 40 percent, Patch says, because of poaching and habitat loss.
As the baby grows and weans from his mother, the still yet-to-be-named calf will go to another park to continue giraffe preservation efforts, but there's no word yet on where or when that will be, and it could be up to three years.
RELATED: More than 1 million tune in for giraffe birth at Animal Adventure Park
After the baby weans, April, who had a perfect pregnancy and delivery, will be checked to see if she is healthy enough to sustain another pregnancy and the park will decide at that time if they'll allow it. If she's retired, though, she will remain at Animal Adventure Park.
"She's a part of our family. She will stay with us forever as an ambassador," said Patch.
Anyone who wants to continue getting updates, videos, and photos of the giraffe family can sign up for text alerts at AprilTheGiraffe.com. They can also sign up at the same website to vote for a name for April's baby boy for $1 a vote. The park plans to choose the top 10 suggestions, and then offer people a chance to vote on the final name, a process which will take about two weeks.
The park also plans to keep people updated on Facebook, and occasionally, the park will put up the webcam of the giraffes, too, Patch said.
All the proceeds from the text alerts and the voting will go to continued conservation efforts, Ava's Little Heroes, an event named after the daughter of the park owners who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy and which helps support families of ill children, and park operations.
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