April the Giraffe's Calf, Azizi, Dies Unexpectedly at Texas Zoo: 'Absolutely Devastating'
Azizi, the last calf born to April, the giraffe who became a viral sensation after the births of two of her calves were live-streamed on the internet, unexpectedly died Tuesday, according to the East Texas Zoo and Gator Park.
On Wednesday, the zoo shared on Facebook that the 1½-year-old giraffe "passed during a veterinary examination" at the facility.
The young giraffe, whose birth was livestreamed for the world to watch last year — was recently treated for a "parasitic issue" and appeared to show signs of improvement leading up to his death.
The post-mortem review revealed that Azizi had a "twisted gut around his cranial mesenteric artery, which was ultimately the cause of his death," according to the zoo.
His condition was described as "unexpected and unpreventable."
"Azizi will be remembered fondly and deeply missed. We appreciate your support during this difficult time," the zoo wrote alongside a sweet picture of the giraffe looking at the camera.
Animal Adventure Park, where April gave birth to Azizi, her fifth calf, also confirmed the news and shared their condolences on Facebook.
"We join the East Texas Zoo and Gator Park in mourning the loss of Azizi, who passed unexpectedly at their facility on Tuesday," the New York zoo wrote. "Azizi was the most recent, and last, calf of April the Giraffe. We know that Azizi's passing could not have been predicted nor prevented.
"His loss is absolutely devastating to our team, and he will be loved, missed, and cherished by the global Animal Adventure Park community," the post continued. "This news is heartbreaking, and we extend our condolences and support to the facility that Azizi called home.
Azizi was born to mom April and dad Oliver on March 16, 2019.
Animal Adventure Park announced that April was pregnant again in July 2018. At the end of February 2019, the park shared that they expected April to give birth before the end of March.
On March 1, April’s home started providing daily updates on Facebook about the mom’s progress, promising in one March 6 post that “it won’t be two months of waiting!” — a reference to how long many waited to watch April give birth to her fourth calf Tajiri.
Back in February 2017, Animal Adventure Park directed April's fans to the giraffe’s livestream, where she was preparing to give birth, but the mom didn’t actually give birth to the calf until April 15. During the months of waiting, April and her new arrival became Internet sensations.
According to Google, April’s YouTube stream for Tajiri’s birth received more than 232 million live views, which added up to 7.6 billion minutes of live watch-time. On the day April welcomed her baby boy to the world, more than 14 million people tuned in, with 1.2 million from around the world watching the actual birth as it happened. At the time, these numbers made the arrival one of the top five most-watched moments for a live event ever on YouTube.
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