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April the giraffe cam is ending this week, so better tune in now

Minor injury to mama giraffe sparks an outpouring of concern, and it turns out internet stardom can be a real pain in the neck.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

It's time for April and her baby giraffe to get some privacy. On Monday night, the staff at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, announced on Facebook that the popular livestream will end later this week.

"The cam will come down between (Wednesday) and Friday of this week as planned from the beginning," zookeepers posted. "This decision was made to allow us to focus on the park and our opening." The park has been closed for the winter but plans to reopen to visitors May 13.

Just a few hours before the announcement, YouTube said the giraffe cam is officially the second-most-watched live cam ever in YouTube history, with more than 232 million live views. And apparently that very popularity was preventing staff from tending to their real jobs.

Mama April, who gave birth to a male calf on Saturday, had a "small twist of her leg" on Monday and was favoring it, the park staff explained. But with the cam's popularity, one tiny twist was evident to thousands of viewers, and all the resulting emails from fans caused technical problems.

"This [injury] is not unheard of in such long-legged animals," the staff noted. "[Veterinarian] Dr. Tim was on site and all is well. We appreciate concern but the bogging down of email servers and other platforms is the exact reason the giraffe cam will need (to) 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."

But the contest to name April's baby is still going on at Nameaprilscalf.com, where a vote for your preferred name will cost you $1, with a five-vote minimum.

The park revealed five of the top vote-getting names, saying in no particular order, they are: Patches, Unity, Peter, Apollo and Harpur.

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