Hoping for giraffe babies
A NEW beginning has been hailed at Paignton Zoo with the arrival of two long-eyelashed and leggy girls.
Two Rothschild's giraffes — three-year-old Janica from Duvr Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic and two-and-a-half-year-old Sangha from Liberec Zoo in Slovakia — are settling into their new home.
They join four-year-old Yoda, who arrived in Devon in September, 2006, from Givskud Zoo in Denmark.
Their arrival comes two and a half years after a tragic fire killed three giraffes at the zoo, including a week-old baby.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Herald Express readers rallied to raise more than £7,000 after the February 2006 tragedy.
Zoo spokesman Phil Knowling said it meant a brighter future for the giraffes with hopes for the patter of tiny hoofs.
He said: "It is really good to get to this stage and put the fire behind us. Zoo members, local people and the wider community rallied round after the fire and Herald Express readers made a fantastic contribution in memory of the animals that died.
"We see this as a new beginning. In the longer term, we hope we will see baby giraffes at Paignton Zoo once again."
The arrival of the two young giraffes was delayed for many months by blue tongue restrictions across Europe.
Janica travelled 1,200 kilometres from the Czech Republic and Sangha 1,500 kilometres from Slovakia by road. Transportation costs of £4,400 for each animal were paid by Paignton Zoo.
The Herald Express Kizi Fund helped raise £7,453 towards bringing giraffes back to Paignton Zoo.
Neil Bemment, Paignton Zoo curator of mammals, said: "Male giraffes are usually solitary creatures for at least part of their lives, but I'm sure Yoda will be just as pleased as us to see the new arrivals. The new girls are very good natured. The moves went very smoothly."
The Rothschild's giraffe is one of the most threatened giraffe sub-species, with only a few hundred left in the wild in Kenya and Uganda.