'Giraffe Cam' to be taken down after April suffers leg injury

The owner of the Harpursville, New York-based park was surprised by the success of the giraffe cam that opened the window of April's pregnancy and birth to the world, but he says he certainly understands why. However, that will soon change.

The park's Facebook page says its staff will be on scene to say goodbye to its viewers and future plans on how to check on April and her baby will be announced next week.

The payoff after weeks of anticipation for those addicted to April's live stream began about 7:30 a.m. - with Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch yelling into a camera from his vehicle: "We are in labor 100 percent!"

Keepers have given a glowing report on the mother and baby's progress as well as allaying fears about April and her leg injury which had caused worries among the huge number of giraffe fans, estimated at more than 1.2 million, that had watched the birth on Saturday. The calf weighed 129 pounds (58.5 kilograms) and stood 5-foot-9 at birth, and he is nursing well and has had his first vet checkup.

"April and calf look great from early morning observations!" the zoo said.

At least 1.2 million people watched the Adventure Park's YouTube streaming of the event. But shortly before noon, the zoo shared an adorable photo of April nuzzling him while he stood beneath her trying to nurse. "When you have that many people in tune to what you are doing, don't waste that period of time".

April's celebrity and the public fascination with her unborn calf blossomed when the zoo began providing a live YouTube stream in February. April gave birth to a male calf on Saturday. She will raise her calf naturally, and weaning could take between 6 to 10 months, maybe longer.

In addition, Animal Adventure Park became the fifth-fastest channel to 200 million views, hitting the mark in just 54 days (behind the likes of Lady Gaga and Zayn). A look at April's calf standing for the first time: April has her own website and even an apparel line. There's 200 animals out there that need our help, feeding and our care.

Vanessa Coleman

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