Thousands of people anxiously awaiting the arrival of a baby giraffe were furious after a live stream following the process was temporarily removed early Thursday morning.
In the last 12 hours, 20 to 30 million people have tuned in to the Animal Adventure Park YouTube page to watch April the 15-year-old giraffe as she prepares to give birth to a baby calf. The Harpursville, New York park has been streaming April on its "giraffe cam" for several days, expecting her to deliver at any moment.
Thursday morning at around 7:30 a.m., with nearly 20,000 people watching, YouTube suddenly shut down the live feed, stating the video violated its policy on nudity or sexual content.
The thousands who had been glued to the feed were furious, posting a number of angry and upset comments.
"You can thank Animal Rights Extremists for this issue," Animal Adventure Park said on Facebook.
The park went live on its Facebook page not long after the feed was shut down, stating YouTube pulled an educational tool away from millions of individuals. A park employee reacted with the following statement:
"We’re further harming the species of giraffe. Recently, giraffes have been removed from the vulnerable to threatened level in their conservation status. By bringing awareness, we can bring appreciation and eventually conservation to giraffes in the wild. It is a necessary happening to have the preservation of giraffes and other threatened and endangered species in captivity to ensure their survival eventually back in the wild."
Officials with Animal Adventure Park said they were working to get their live YouTube feed back up and eventually began streaming again. They also said if they have any issues with the YouTube feed they will stream April's delivery live on their Facebook page.
"When a birth is imminent, when hooves are visible, we will have a calf on the ground within 60 minutes."
The park said April is doing very well, in no pain and she's progressing just fine.