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Why April the Giraffe will say goodbye to one calf before another arrives

The 15-foot-tall mom has a new calf on the way, and her 1-year-old son, Tajiri, is about to go on an adventure of his own.
by Ree Hines / / Source: TODAY
April the Giraffe and her calf
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September is here, but right now, our thoughts are on April again — April the Giraffe.

As we learned earlier this summer, the 17-year-old resident of Animal Adventure Park has another big bundle of joy on the way.

But that's not all there is to know!

On Tuesday morning, park owner Jordan Patch stopped by TODAY with an update about everyone's favorite 15-foot-tall mama.

April gained fame back in 2017 as her handlers and millions of online fans watched and waited — and waited and waited — for her to finally give birth to her calf. When it was all over (in the month of April, appropriately enough), she was an internet sensation and her son, Tajiri, was a beloved new addition to the park.

But now changes are on the way — both for April and for her famed calf.

Patch revealed what we can expect while April the Giraffe is expecting, including details like an increased diet and a waistline to match.

But there's still a long way to go before her physical changes become apparent. Long-necked moms like April have equally long gestation periods, averaging about 15 months. That means Animal Adventure Park will see two seasons and a new year before they welcome April's new arrival.

This time she's expected to give birth in March. "And when I say March, I mean July," Patch joked of the unpredictable nature of it all.

April the giraffe names calf
April the Giraffe, seen here cleaning her then-new calf Tajiri after giving birth in 2017, is expecting once again. Animal Adventure Park/AP

However, while fans will get to take a peek during every part of her pregnancy, just like they did last year, Tajiri won't get that same opportunity. That's because, as April's pregnancy progresses, the 1-year-old will move on to his next home in another facility.

While Tajiri has stayed close to mom — and dad, Oliver the Giraffe — since birth, he won't stay by her side forever at Animal Adventure Park. Patch explained that it's important to the giraffe population that Tajiri move on and start adventures of his own.

"Taj is going to be leaving at the end of October, because quite simply he's progressing, he's advancing, he's maturing," Patch said. "And naturally, in the wild, young male giraffes leave the herd — which is called the tower — and they start their own nomadic bachelor life."

Tajiri's "bachelor life" will kick off in a new facility outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, where he'll hopefully become a dad one day.

As Patch put it, when it comes to helping the species as a whole, "every giraffe calf born in a captive management program counts."

Of course, April has greeted and said goodbye to other calves in the past. Tajiri was her fourth, and right now, she's gearing up for baby No. 5.

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