HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. (FOX 13) - After being taken down off YouTube briefly, a viral live camera feed of a giraffe about to give birth is back online. Its owners blamed "extremists and animal right activists" for the outage.
Patch said Thursday that the park had put up the live webcam feed of April the pregnant giraffe as a way to bring awareness to the status of her species. The power of YouTube, he explained, was a way that his park in rural New York could reach millions of people around the world.
And, for a few hours, it seemed to work. Patch said, in the 12 hours it was operational, the cam had gotten 20 to 30 million views on YouTube. There were countless more people watching on Facebook. But Thursday morning, the feed was shut down, leaving Patch visibly frustrated.
"There is a handful of extremists and animal right activists that may not agree with us -- and that's OK -- but that have unfortunately reported our YouTube cam as a sexually explicit or nude content," he said. "What that has done is it has pulled the educational tool away from tens of millions of individuals."
There was no other explanation from YouTube and no apparent claim of responsibility from any activist group.
But Patch was insistent that blocking the channel was doing more harm than good to the giraffe species.
"I encourage the animal rights activists: Get behind conservation. We're all on the same team. We want the best for these animals and we would love to have them in their natural environment someday. But until we can control the destruction of their natural habitat and curb poaching, that is not going to happen," he continued. "So if you want to help animals, help them in that way -- conserve them."
The feed was restored Thursday morning, not long after Patch's message was posted on Facebook. There was no immediate explanation.
April, meanwhile, has still not given birth, but the park believes it could happen any time.
"April is very well," Patch added. "She is progressing just fine. She is in no pain. It's a very natural process and we can't put timelines on it…animals and nature will do everything on their own timeline."
The good news is, millions of giraffe lovers can now observe these special creatures once again.