'Yeah, Baby': New York Zoo Reveals Name of April the Giraffe's Calf - NBC 7 San Diego
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'Yeah, Baby': New York Zoo Reveals Name of April the Giraffe's Calf

Fans voted for the name "Alyssa's Choice," after April's keeper, and Alyssa selected the name Tajiri



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    Baby, we've got a name. 

    Meet Tajiri, the 2-week-old son of the world-famous April the giraffe of upstate New York. Technically, the name Alyssa's Choice (after the giraffe keeper) won, and Alyssa selected the name Tajiri, which is Swahili for "hope," Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch revealed Monday.

    The name was announced live from the Giraffe Barn at the upstate New York zoo, which catapulted the giraffe into the upper echelon of the viral animal world when it started live-streaming her fourth pregnancy in February.

    The name emerged from two rounds of fan voting that ended Sunday. Other finalists included Apollo, Geoffrey, Gio, Harpur, Noah, Ollie, Patch, Patches and Unity. 

    Anyone who wanted to vote on a name could do so for $1 per vote. There was a five-vote minimum, and people could vote as many times as they wanted. Funds raised will be split between the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Ava's Little Heroes and Animal Adventure Park, the zoo has said.  

    After months of waiting, April gave birth April 15 in Harpursville, New York, while an audience of about 1.2 million people watched live online. The baby was born at just under 130 pounds and more than 5 feet tall; he's already grown a few inches in the last several weeks, the zoo says. 

    The calf's spindly legs wobbled as he attempted to stand on its own. But shortly before noon, the zoo shared an adorable photo of April nuzzling him while he stood beneath her trying to nurse. 

    "All is well," the caption read.

    April teased her millions of global adorers for weeks, showing signs of near-but-not-quite labor and otherwise enchanting her audience with cute right-at-the-camera gazes and tongue flicks, snack noshing and nuzzling with her much younger but handsome 5-year-old beau. 

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    April's pregnancy was vaulted into global headlines in late February after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's live stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

    Zoo owner Jordan Patch said the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process was a huge factor in drawing crowds. 

    "I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you'll get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

    He added that April's pregnancy was more than just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education.