Ellen Moryl, Charleston's cultural affairs director, said the 2-year-old giraffe, named Melman after the character from the "Madagascar" film series, was seen struggling with its handlers at the tree-lighting ceremony Saturday in downtown Charleston due to the flashing cameras, WCIV-TV, Charleston, reported Tuesday.
"There were a number of people that crowded around and took a lot of pictures with flashes, that got the giraffe a little stirred up," Moryl said.
Mark Nisbet, who owns the giraffe at his Eudora farms business in Aiken County, said Melman is used to large crowds and public events, but was unprepared for the confetti cannon.
"They never had anything like that before, so we just assumed it would be similar to the way it was before because we were walking the same path the year before," Nisbet said.
The owner said Melman was calm when he arrived home.
"He was perfectly fine once he got close to the trailer. He was back to normal," Nisbet said.