"Giraffe Cam will go dark Friday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern," keepers wrote in a Facebook post. "We will all be there to say goodbye. The future plans will be announced next week of when and how you can check on baby. Text alert subscribers will receive weekly photo updates also."
The camera went up in February, and April didn't deliver her calf until April 15, giving fans a long time to tune in and get used to checking on the expectant mama.
The park announced Monday that this was to be the cam's last week, as staff is busy preparing to open for the season on May 13, and the flurry of interest in the cam has taken away from regular activities. When April appeared to have a slight injury on Monday, concerned fans flooded the staff with messages. "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," staff wrote in a Facebook post.
As for the baby, he's doing well, zookeepers wrote, sharing a photo of the little one cuddled up on the floor. "All is well and baby continues to gain!" the post said. "A small floor scale has been implemented to get a read on baby without separating mom and handling calf. This is the corner the little guy prefers -- inconveniently out of camera view!"
Baby names continue to come in, the post reports. Fans can submit and vote on names at NameAprilsCalf.com, where a vote for your preferred name will cost you $1, with a five-vote minimum.
So far, the park has revealedsome of the popular names, in no particular order: Patches, Patch, Unity, Peter, Apollo, Harpur, Geoffrey, Noah and Ollie. Harpur is likely for the park's location in Harpursville; Ollie because the calf's dad is named Oliver; Peter perhaps for Peter Rabbit (the calf arrived a day before Easter); and Geoffrey for cam sponsor Toys R Us' giraffe mascot.
by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper