HARPURSVILLE (WBNG) — Love is in the air at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville.
“Once we knew that Tajiri was staying at Animal Adventure the plan was that of course we’ve got to get him companionship,” Jordan Patch, Animal Adventure Park owner, said.
Patch said Tajiri’s companion is a 14-year-old female giraffe. He said the two have been living together since early February.
“After a 30-day quarantine period, Taj and our girl were able to meet one another and it went absolutely perfect,” Patch said. The park has a new live camera up in Tajiri’s barn on the park’s YouTube account.
The new, unnamed giraffe arrived at the park in January. Patch said he’s counting on fans to name the new girl with a naming contest.
“The funds raised from that will go back to giraffe conservation and Ava’s little heroes,” Patch said.
You can cast your vote at namethegiraffe.com.
12 News asked where the new giraffe came from but Patch responded with this, “Quite frankly, the attention that is brought on some of these other facilities where we may acquire a giraffe is not always welcomed attention. Not that they care where people know where it came from but it’s just that we have some very engaged fans and perhaps they don’t want the PR that comes with sending a giraffe here.”
Patch said Tajiri will breed more giraffes with the new addition once he matures.
“With Tajiri staying here of course we can continue our efforts with the captive management program which is the propagation of giraffes,” Patch said.
While this program will help preserve the giraffe population, Patch said he acknowledges not everyone agrees with it.
“Ideologically there’s always gonna be organizations or individuals that maybe disagree with captive management and what we do here and the purpose we serve,” Patch said,”we don’t always have to disagree but to engage in good dialogue to have a little bit of understanding of what we’re doing and the purpose for it I think would really open some people’s eyes to the efforts and success that we are seeing.”
The park also announced that Tajiri’s mother, April, who is pregnant with another calf, is expected to give birth in March.
Tajiri was born on April 15, 2017 in front of about 1.2 million people via live camera. A new barn was constructed for Tajiri in late 2018
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PHOTO COURTESY: ANIMAL ADVENTURE PARK