April Is a Cash Cow for Zoo

Giraffe frenzy raked in $150K in GoFundMe, likely hundreds of thousands more
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2017 10:03 AM CDT
April Is a Cash Cow for Zoo
A giraffe named April stands with her new calf on Saturday, April 15, 2017.   (Animal Adventure Park via AP)

April the giraffe has become a cash cow for a tiny zoo in upstate New York, thanks to a YouTube livestream of her pregnancy and birth of an incredibly cute calf that riveted viewers around the world. Owners of the for-profit Animal Adventure Park won't say exactly how much they've pulled in from all April-related ventures, reports the AP, but internet marketing experts conservatively estimate the haul in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The ventures include the Toys 'R' Us-sponsored YouTube stream, monetized text messages, a clothing line, and the sale of T-shirts, caps, and fuzzy toys. "The monies are going to allow the park to continue to grow and improve," said Jordan Patch, who started the 20-acre zoo with his wife four years ago in Harpursville. "But also the money will help support our conservation efforts in Africa, so we're actually providing tangible results for wild giraffes."

All Patch would say for sure, moneywise, is that a Gofundme campaign has raised $150,000 for the care of April, her mate Oliver, and their calf, as well as upgrades to their exhibit. And he expects 150,000 park visitors—twice as many as last year—to pay $11-$13 to see the giraffe family along with the park's 200 other animals. April become the second most-watched livestream in YouTube history with more than 232 million views and 7.6 billion minutes of live watch time. "I couldn't speculate as to how much Toys 'R' Us is paying, but I'm sure it's a huge chunk of change," probably in the "low six-figures," says a social media analyst. Toys 'R' Us is coming out with new giraffe plush toys based on April's little family. Local businesses are also hoping for a baby bump. "We're booking fast and furious," says a rep at the Doubletree Hilton in nearby Binghamton. (Read more giraffes stories.)

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