April the giraffe has suffered an injury, and the popular "Giraffe Cam" is out of order until further notice, the Washington Post is reporting.
For a couple of months in early 2017, millions of internet users around the world tuned into the live camera feed from Adventure Park, a tiny and, until this year, all-but unheard-of animal sanctuary in upstate New York. The park's celebrity animal was April, a 13-year-old reticulated giraffe who had lived at the park since 2015.
April the giraffe's pregnant belly is "bulging" and her baby is "sticking out," zookeepers say: https://t.co/AW8NiFl9NI pic.twitter.com/x2cjYQm7bcBeginning in February, when the animal park first announced the pregnancy and the live stream, users turned into the small park's stream to watch the birth, which was going to happen any minute now. The minutes turned into hours, which turned into days, then weeks, then months. Users began to question if the whole thing was an elaborate April Fools' Day joke, or even worse, if April was sick and her exceptionally late-term pregnancy meant harm for her or her calf. In fact, neither of those things was true -- it was not an April Fools' joke, and veterinarian Dr Tim Slater insisted that the birth was not "overdue."
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) April 9, 2017
Finally, on April 15, at about 10:00 a.m. local time, a pair of hooves emerged from the womb, followed by a head, and then, after half an hour or so, a calf.
April the giraffe's baby boy needs a name – and you could be the one to choose it! https://t.co/HKWVMorXFS pic.twitter.com/rOJjRKU8QeBoth mother and calf were reportedly doing well immediately after the birth. The male calf, meanwhile, is without a name, according to People, and the park is looking to viewers to name the new addition to the family. If you'd like to throw your hat in the ring, so to speak, for a chance at naming the calf, head on over to nameaprilscalf.com, where you can submit up to five entries at $1 per entry. Proceeds will be used to help with giraffe conservation efforts in the wild.
— People Magazine (@people) April 19, 2017
Meanwhile, all good things must come to an end, and now that the baby calf has arrived, it's time for Animal Adventure Park to shut down the live camera. The intense publicity overwhelmed the park's limited internet resources, according to a statement.
"We appreciate concern but the bogging down of email servers and other platforms is the exact reason the giraffe cam will need be pulled. While we appreciate the concern, it is interfering with normal park operations and preparation for opening; at a period when our resource of time is limited and cannot be hindered. Please allow our team to do as they are trained to do — we have their care covered!"As it turns out, April herself is also injured. Don't fret: it's a minor injury that had nothing to do with her giving birth. As the park made clear, she suffered a minor leg injury, which is not uncommon in large beasts such as giraffes.
"Her leg twist was the equivalent of rolling your ankle slightly — 'walk it off.' Creating news stories out of such a minor thing is a bit of a stretch … but she is a celebrity so headlines sell."In fact, though she favored her injured leg for a while, she's already showing signs of improvement.
Did the injury cause the park to pull the live camera? Probably not, if you believe the statements from the park's management. They insist that the plan was always to remove the live camera once April gave birth, and now the time has come. The camera will be taken down between Wednesday and Friday of this week.
[Featured Image by Brydyak/Thinkstock]