HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (FOX 13) - We’re getting out first look in several days at April’s baby giraffe, whom we now know will be named ‘Tajiri.’ Animal Adventure Park released new photos of the pair on Monday, not long after announcing the winning name.
The giraffe pair became viral sensations earlier this year after the New York park installed a live webcam in April’s stall, allowing millions of people to follow the last few weeks of her pregnancy and, finally, the baby giraffe’s birth.
For two weeks, the park invited April’s fans to weigh in – at $1 per vote – on what the baby boy’s name should be. Out of 10 finalists, they chose to allow keeper Allysa Swilley to pick. She chose the name Tajiri, explaining that it stands for king, hope and confidence in Swahili.
“Hope is something that Tajiri brought not only the global community, but giraffes as well,” Allysa said in announcing the name. “This experience has given giraffes a voice and the species hope. We are also confident that we can move forward into a future where giraffes are no longer under threat.”
Keepers expect to call the baby ‘Taj’ for short.
The funds raised by the voting will be distributed to giraffe conservation efforts in the wild, Ava’s Little Heroes, the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit and Animal Adventure Park.
“We are proud of the powerful, hope-inspiring name Tajiri for our calf,” said Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park. “We know the calf will carry the name well.”
Meanwhile, the ‘little’ guy seems to be growing steadily. Photos shared by the park Monday show him exploring the pen and nuzzling with April and with his father, Oliver.
The park is busy getting ready to open for the season. After all of the off-season publicity, Patch told FOX 13 they expect to see an influx of new visitors when they open later this month.
"We hope you see you this summer and help welcome Tajiri to our family,” Swilley added.
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