IMAGE: Facebook / Animal Adventure Park Unless you’re living under a rock, you definitely caught wind of the commotion surrounding April the Giraffe’s very lengthy pregnancy. April is a resident of the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York and caused alarm as she was potentially 2 months overdue with her baby calf. Compare that to the average giraffe gestation period of 13-15 months, and you can imagine the surprise of folks everywhere (but let’s face it””April was probably the one who was most done with being pregnant). The mama gave birth on April 15th, and now, April the Giraffe’s calf has a name and it is totally fitting.
How It Was Decided
The upstate New York animal park held an online contest to choose the perfect name for the bundle of joy, who came into the world at a whopping 5 feet 9 inches, and upwards of 130 pounds. Fans of the mom and calf were invited to submit name nominations for a $1 donation. All the proceeds went to giraffe conservation efforts, the Animal Adventure Park, and Ava’s Heroes (an annual event named after one of the park owner’s daughter who has a rare form of epilepsy, and which supports families with children experiencing unexpected medical expenses). The top 10 names were then chosen, including one name picked by Alyssa Swilley, April’s handler. These were all the names that didn’t make it:
Alright, these are cute. Patch and Patches? Adorable, but definitely overdone. Geoffrey is way too closely related to the Toys R Us mascot (who, by the way, got some pretty sweet advertising by sponsoring the live feed of April’s labor and birth). Apollo could be pretty cool. Ollie is cute and would have been a tribute to the calf’s daddy, apparently. I don’t know about Noah, Gio, or Harpur, though. Not exactly names that would make me think of a giraffe, but maybe they had some special significance for others. Alright, let’s get to it:
And The Winner Is…Tajiri!
This was the name picked out by April’s handler and it is 100% fitting. For one, who would know a better name than the person whose spent the most time with April and baby? And for those who don’t know, Tajiri is a Swahili name meaning “hope” and “confidence.” What a beautiful choice! This little one will certainly inspire a bit of both throughout his life.