We spent all of March waiting on April — April the Giraffe, that is! And now that her little bundle of joy is here, we’ve finally learned his name!
On Good Morning America this morning, it was revealed that her calf will go by the name “Tajiri” or “Taj” for short.
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The name “Tajiri” means “hope,” “confidence,” and “king” in Swahili.
We have our name! Tajiri the baby Giraffe. Tajiri is Swahili for HOPE. We will call him "Taj" pic.twitter.com/J64Bk7QOEp— April The Giraffe (@AprilTheGiraffe) May 1, 2017
We have our name! Tajiri the baby Giraffe. Tajiri is Swahili for HOPE. We will call him "Taj" pic.twitter.com/J64Bk7QOEp
The name was picked Allysa Swiley and Corey Dwyer, who are the giraffes’ zookeeper and caretaker, respectively, at the Animal Adventure Park in upstate New York where April and baby Taj live.
The moniker of the baby was originally to be decided by April’s dedicated fans, who were able to vote for one of ten options once they donated to not only the zoo where April lives, but also a giraffe conservation organization and a charity known as Ava’s Little Heroes, which is a fundraising event held at the park for the park owner’s daughter, who suffers from a rare type of epilepsy.
One of the options — which received the most votes — was “Allysa’s Choice,” which gave the person closest to April and her new calf the opportunity to name the park’s new baby.
“Allysa’s choice wasn’t just my choice,” she said on Facebook Live, explaining that she enlisted her colleague Corey to help. When asked to explain her pick, she said, “It is a hope for giraffes. We have been able to give giraffes a voice...and given the species a hope.”
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April (and baby Taj) became international sensations after the Animal Adventure Park started live streaming her activity in late February, hoping that she would soon go into labor. She captivated an audience for more than a month, and when the calf was finally born on April 15, nearly 1.2 people from around the world watched the 129-pound newborn’s arrival.
What a week!Many exciting occurrences and events!This shot is of baby and April outside for the first time. Have a great weekend! pic.twitter.com/wMwWH5tydE— April The Giraffe (@AprilTheGiraffe) April 29, 2017
What a week!Many exciting occurrences and events!This shot is of baby and April outside for the first time. Have a great weekend! pic.twitter.com/wMwWH5tydE
Taj will stay in his mother’s care until he can eat on his own and is no longer nursing — a process that can take anywhere from six to 15 months — once he’s completed weaned, he will leave his mother and the Animal Adventure Park.