First, it was contributing to and then celebrating the unfortunate end of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus. Now, animal rights activists are taking another educational opportunity away from people interested in learning more about animals.
“April the giraffe” is a resident of the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York. She is expecting her fourth calf, and the zookeepers thought of an innovative way to let the whole world get up close and personal: “The Giraffe Cam.” The livestream, which launched in late February, allows viewers – more than 20 million of them, in fact – to tune in to watch April’s progress. To me, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity to connect even more people with wildlife. The more people see different species of animals, the more they care about them and will be willing to support conservation efforts.
Enter animal rights activists, who just can’t let a good thing happen.
A small group of extremists reported the video feed to YouTube for “nudity and sexual content,” causing it to be taken down for several hours. Thousands of viewers quickly complained, and the video was eventually reposted. (Calf watch update – as of 3/8/17, April still hasn’t given birth, so you still have time to tune in!)
I am glad the public swiftly and strongly pushed back in this instance, and that common sense prevailed. We cannot allow activist groups to be successful in their efforts to close zoos, put a stop to animals in entertainment and end animal agriculture. By highlighting the absurdity of actions like this, hopefully we can help people see that these groups are not credible, whether they are sexualizing a giraffe’s birth or making claims about how farm animals are treated.
The zoo owner, Jordan Patch, put it perfectly: "This is a perfect example of why we cannot have nice things."
Editor’s Note: Hannah Thompson is the Communications Director at the Animal Agriculture Alliance. The opinions in this commentary are expressly those of the author. For more information on the Alliance, go to: www.animalagalliance.org