HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. -- “April the Giraffe" became an internet sensation and household name last year as millions watched her online as she prepared to deliver her baby at an animal park in New York.
Now 12 months later, the folks at Animal Adventure Park near Binghamton are planning to throw her son his first birthday party as he turns one year old this Sunday.
Little Tajiri roams around the home that he shares with his parents at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, coming over to greet his visitors with a curious eye.
Tajiri doesn`t realize it but he was famous before he was even born last April.
His mother is “April the Giraffe!”
She became an internet sensation and household name after the park outside Binghamton began to live streaming its “Giraffe Cam” during the final months of April's pregnancy.
Every day, millions of people watched and waited for Tajiri to arrive; now they can watch him grow.
“I believe we`re hovering around 8.5 billion viewing minutes at this time, hundreds of millions of views and daily you can always expect anywhere from, at slow times, 300 up to 2,000 people watching at a given time,” said Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch.
Patch says after Tajiri`s birth the park saw about 200,000 visitors last season, double the amount from the previous year.
Now the park plans to celebrate Tajiri`s 1st birthday on Sunday at 10 am, complete with a party and a cake.
Since the park doesn`t open until next month, folks can join the festivities from home.
“So, our team, our animal care team and guest services team and some of our sponsors of our giraffes will be here on site celebrating with him but the rest of the world can tune in via the giraffe cam,” said Patch.
With the boost in attendance, Animal Adventure Park has been able to expand faster than it expected, adding new exhibits.
“We have new African lions that have joined us this year and we are going announce something very special about one of our cubs here coming up,” said Patch. “But in additions to that we have our sloth exhibit that`s opening, we have our new alligator exhibit that`s opening.”
And with business being good that the park that means business is good in Harpursville.
Workers at Cindy`s Crossroads Corner Store N Deli says they`ve had many people stop in on their way to the park.
“It`s just brought everybody here, I mean we`ve had people from, I`ve had people from out of the country come in ask how to get there or people from across the country to come,” said cashier Samantha Northop. “It`s brought a lot of business in here, actually.”
Animal Adventure Park is about 20 miles east of Binghamton.
The park is expected to open on May 16th.