Giraffe's baby bump boosts tiny zoo's upkeep, conservation

Monday, April 24, 2017
A giraffe named April licks her new calf April 15 at Animal Adventure Park in Binghamton, New York.
Animal Adventure Park via AP

April the giraffe has brought a bundle to a tiny zoo in rural upstate New York, thanks to a YouTube video livestream of her pregnancy and birth of a calf that has riveted viewers around the world.

Owners of the for-profit Animal Adventure Park won't say exactly how much they've pulled in from all April-related ventures, but internet marketing experts conservatively estimate the haul in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The money will be used for zoo upkeep, wildlife conservation in Africa and a favorite cause of the zoo's founders -- local children with unexpected medical expenses, the park owners say.

"The monies are going to allow the park to continue to grow and improve," said Jordan Patch, who began the 20-acre zoo with his wife four years ago in Harpursville, about 130 miles northwest of New York City. "But also the money will help support our conservation efforts in Africa, so we're actually providing tangible results for wild giraffes."

The ventures include the Toys 'R' Us-sponsored YouTube stream, monetized text messages, a clothing line and the sale of T-shirts, caps and fuzzy toys.

All Patch would say for sure, moneywise, is a Gofundme campaign has raised more than $150,000 for the care of April, her mate Oliver and their male calf, as well as upgrades to their exhibit space.

And he expects 150,000 park visitors -- twice as many as last year -- to pay $11 to $13 to see the giraffe family along with the park's 200 other animals, including alligators, monkeys and zebras.

Neither Patch nor Toys 'R' Us, which features a giraffe as its corporate mascot, would talk about how many dollars were attached to April's video stream.

After coming online Feb. 23, it has become the second most-watched livestream in YouTube history with more than 232 million views and 7.6 billion minutes of live watch time.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: