Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 14:16 UK

Giraffe's tongue destroys webcam

Gerald the giraffe
Gerald's tongue is about 18 inches long

A webcam set up to stream live pictures of the imminent birth of a baby zebra has been destroyed - by the over-active tongue of a neighbouring giraffe.

The webcam was set up recently by the BBC Bristol website at Noah's Ark Zoo farm in Wraxall.

But Gerald the giraffe, housed in the next pen along, had other ideas.

Owner Anthony Bush said: "I do apologise for Gerald, but he couldn't believe his luck. He saw this amazing webcam fruit within licking distance."

"He had nothing else to do all night and licked it until he destroyed it. I'm sorry it's in bits, I hope it's recoverable."

'Notorious lickers'

BBC website journalist Chris Kelly spent most of Friday trying to fix the device.

"We underestimated how long Gerald's tongue was, but you have to laugh. We've installed a new one - 6ft higher than the last one," he said.

Mr Bush said giraffes were notorious lickers.

"Visitors sometimes have their ankles licked. Gerald has a huge tongue."

The cost of the damage was less than 30.


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