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Animal Adventure Park, a seedy roadside zoo in upstate New York, continues to treat giraffes as breeding machines in order to profit from them. The facility livestreamed April giving birth twice for its money-making scheme. While the park has announced that it will no longer breed April, it has reportedly replaced her with another female, Johari, and is now attempting to breed her.
A report coauthored by PETA Foundation Supervising Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Heather Rally explains the dark side of breeding giraffes and the truth behind Animal Adventure Park's exploitation of them. Giraffes aren't completely weaned until they're at least 1 year old, and in the wild, mothers and their calves often stay together for their entire lives. However, April was separated from most of her calves when they were a few weeks old to a year and a half.
Animal Adventure Park has been cited for numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, allowing them to escape, and endangering their safety. Conditions for giraffes at roadside zoos such as Animal Adventure Park are far from adequate. These social animals have vast ranges in their natural habitat, but at roadside zoos, they're kept in cramped, barren enclosures and sometimes in solitary confinement. In addition, the lack of adequate foraging opportunities and the barren environment in which they're kept often lead them to develop abnormal behavior patterns, including pacing and repetitive licking.
Study after study shows that unnatural exhibits such as those at Animal Adventure Park can undermine legitimate conservation efforts by misleading the public into believing that the species must not be in jeopardy—when, in fact, giraffe populations in the wild are plummeting. None of April's calves will be introduced into the wild. Instead, they'll be traded between shady roadside zoos to be exploited for profit just as their mother was.
The world should be mourning—not celebrating—the birth of yet more giraffes who will spend their life in conditions that deprive them of everything that's natural and important to them. Urge Animal Adventure Park to stop breeding giraffes.