Animal Adventure Park is ending its livestream of April the giraffe.
WKBW reported on Monday that emails began to flood into the zoo about the giraffe appearing to be hurt. The zoo has announced that the livestream will end Friday.
“We are well aware, long before the first email, that April had a small twist of her leg today which has her favoring it,” the zoo said in a Facebook post. “This is not unheard of in such long legged animals. ... We appreciate concern but the bogging down of email servers and other platforms is the exact reason the giraffe cam will need be pulled.”
According to the petting zoo, the amount of emails is “interfering with normal park operations and preparation for opening; at a period when our resource of time is limited and cannot be hindered.”
The Associated Press reported that the YouTube livestream had 232 million live views. The single day with the largest amount of views was Saturday, when there were 14 million live views.
More than 1.2 million people watched as April gave birth to a male calf Saturday, months after the Animal Adventure Park began touting the livestream in February.
The zoo is holding a contest to name the baby. Entrants must pay $1 for each vote. The money will go toward wild giraffe conservation efforts, zoo improvements and upgrades and support for families of children who have unexpected medical expenses.
In a Tuesday update on April, the zoo said the injury was minor.
“April's walk and stance are almost perfect again. Her leg twist was the equivalent or 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.”
Animal Adventure Park said in a comment on its Facebook page that the live camera will end “between Wednesday and Friday of this week as planned from the beginning.
“This decision was made to allow us to focus on the park and our opening,” the comment said.
On Thursday, Animal Adventure Park said the giraffe cam will go dark at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
“We will all be there to say goodbye,” the zoo wrote on Facebook. “The future plans will be announced next week of when and how you can check on baby.”
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