APRIL the giraffe followers have been left heartbroken after a plans to show off her new calf to an adoring public were cancelled today.
The Animal Adventure Park has abandoned this weekend’s grand opening because of a powerful storm is roaring towards the zoo.
Disappointed animal lovers were hoping to catch sight of April and her month-old calf Tajiri when the gates opened at the upstate New York park on Saturday morning.
Staff at the park have been working round the clock to prepare for the opening day, even having to curtail the virally popular live Giraffe Cam feed to a four-hour show on Tuesdays.
Taj and April
Yet for all the efforts of zoo owner Jordan Patch and his dedicated team of keepers, the opening was cancelled over night as forecasters predict bad weather this weekend.
Announcing the decision with a “great regret” message on the park’s Facebook page added to the consternation – with April followers fearing the worse for the giraffe family.
But the thousands of messages left on the park’s page show April’s fans support the park’s decision.
Explaining the cancellation, the park’s owner Jordan Patch said: “It is with great regret to inform you the opening of Animal Adventure Park must be delayed due to the Nor'easter rolling through this weekend.
“Rain and unseasonably cold temperatures will prevent many species from being on exhibit and may pose storm risks to our guests.
“As always, the safety and comfort of our animals and guests is priority.”
It added: “We could not be more apologetic for the inconvenience this will cause our guests.”
The park now intends opening its gates on Monday, May 15, at 10am.
The park was expecting a weekend bonanza as animal lovers from across America and beyond gathered to get up close and personal views of April and Tajiri as well as father Oliver in the flesh rather than on a YouTube screen.
But the messages left on Facebook backed the cancellation, albeit it causing a few hearts to flutter.
One April fan wrote: “I saw the opening comment ‘we regret to inform you’ and my heart literally sank down to my toes thinking something happened to April, Taj or Ollie. THANK GOD IT'S ONLY A DELAY in your opening!”
Another added: “The ‘we regret to inform you’ about gave me a heart attack. I thought something bad had happened. I am glad that’s all it is.”
While one follower explained: “My heart skipped a few beats when I saw the ‘we regret to inform you’… I thought maybe something happy to Taj, April or Oliver or one of the other babies.
“Glad it's only the delay of opening but I am sure you are very disappointed in having to delay it. But good call on your part, safety first for you, your staff and all the animals.”
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