NY Zoo's Pregnant Giraffe Livestream Pulled From YouTube After Activists Complain of 'Nudity and Sexual Content,' Then Restored Amid Public Outcry - NBC New York

NY Zoo's Pregnant Giraffe Livestream Pulled From YouTube After Activists Complain of 'Nudity and Sexual Content,' Then Restored Amid Public Outcry

20 to 30 million people across the globe had tuned in to watch the stream over the last 12 hours, the zoo's owner said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    What to Know

    • Millions of people had been watching the stream in anticipation of the birth of "April" the giraffe's fourth calf

    • Suddenly, Thursday morning, the stream was gone -- and the zoo said "Animal Rights Extremists" were responsible

    • The livestream was back online about an hour and a half after the brouhaha started

    STATUS UPDATE:'April' the Giraffe Is Doing Well, Still Pregnant

    YouTube has apparently restored an upstate New York zoo's livestream of a giraffe preparing to give birth that had been abruptly suspended Thursday after animal activists complained about "nudity and sexual content" in violation of the site's policy. 

    More than 20 million had been viewing the cam, placed in the stall of “April” the giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, in anticipation of the birth of her fourth calf. People from all over the world watched the long-necked animal slink gracefully around her hay-laden home, giddy with excitement.

    Suddenly, shortly before 8 a.m., the stream stopped.

    Photos: April, the World-Famous Pregnant GiraffePhotos: April, the World-Famous Pregnant Giraffe

    The Animal Adventure Park posted on Facebook that YouTube yanked the stream for "nudity & sexual content" and said "Animal Rights Extremists" were responsible.

    The post was shared more than 6,200 times within an hour as thousands of commenters voiced frustration over "the miracle of life" being banned from YouTube. At least one person suggested the zoo put clothes on the giraffe. 

    In a Facebook live addressing the controversy, the zoo's owner, Jordan Patch, said, "This is a perfect example of why we cannot have nice things."

    Behind the Scenes With April the Giraffe as Birth LoomsBehind the Scenes With April the Giraffe as Birth Looms

    We visited April the giraffe at Animal Adventure Park to see how she and her keepers were getting on ahead of the birth of her new calf.
    (Published Tuesday, March 7, 2017)

    Patch said it's OK that some animal activists don't agree with the zoo's decision to stream the birth, but that they were wrong to get YouTube to pull it.  

    "This has pulled an educational tool away from tens of millions of individuals," he said.

    A two-hour stream documenting part of the giraffe's labor was allowed to remain online, though the comment section was rife with angry users demanding YouTube restore the live video. By 9:45 a.m., it was back up -- and by 1:30 p.m., the giraffe was still swinging its tail comfortably, no sign the birth was imminent. 

    YouTube didn't directly respond to the controversy, but clearly delineated policies on its site ask users to flag content they believe violates standards. The site has an appeals process in place for users, and if content is removed in error, YouTube works quickly to reinstate it.

    Giraffes are pregnant for 15 months. Labor will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour. The zoo says it will hold a contest to name the calf.

    Though it'll be 15-year-old April's fourth calf, it'll be a first for 5-year-old dad Oliver, the zoo says. 

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