New York

‘Not So Little' Calf of April the Giraffe Celebrates 6-Month Birthday

“His personality is one of independence, a nod to his father Oliver,” the zoo wrote of Tajiri

What's six months old and nearly 10 feet tall?

It's Tajiri of course, the baby boy of global animal superstar April the giraffe. 

Tajiri celebrated his half-birthday on Sunday — it's been six months since April gave birth to him in a live stream viewed by about 1.2 million people on April 15.

The upstate zoo where April and Tajiri reside marked the event with a status update on Facebook Sunday.

"Happy 6 months of Life to our 'not so little' Tajiri!" the Animal Adventure Park posted. "At 6 months of age, he is standing shy of 10' Tall!"

The zoo said that six months into his life, Tajiri is showing qualities of both mom and dad.

"His personality is one of independence, a nod to his father Oliver," the zoo wrote. "Though his genuine demeanor with guests & Keepers is a strong echo of mom, April's, personality."

The zoo included a few photos with the half-birthday post, including one of a tiny Tajiri cuddling up against his mom when he was only 5 feet tall. Since then he's grown significantly and a more recent photo shows him standing confidently next to mom at nearly double that height.

Tajiri — Swahili for "hope" — and his mom April were catapulted into the upper echelon of the viral animal world when the zoo started live-streaming April's fourth pregnancy in February.

After months of waiting, April gave birth April 15 in Harpursville, New York, while an audience of hundreds of thousands watched live online. The baby was born at just under 130 pounds and more than 5 feet tall.

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, Oliver.

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.

In Sunday's post to Facebook, the zoo said: "Thank you to his fans, for your following and support, these past 6 months and prior. Together we continue to educate the world on the awareness of giraffes and conservation - and that is something to be proud of."

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