We’re pleased to give a warm Welsh welcome to Dr Shrimp and Rudi. Croeso i Gymru boys!
Dr Shrimp and Rudi, two male Rothschild giraffes, have joined us from Longleat Safari Park. The three year old half-brothers will join Rian and Taharqa in our Giraffe Heights enclosure.
Dr Shrimp? Really?!
Where did our new giraffes get their names? Well, they were already named by their Longleat keepers after songs which were popular at the time of their birth. Dr Shrimp Puerto Rico is a song by Dirtman (so I’m told) and Rudi comes from Rihanna’s song Rude Boy. So, now you know!
They’re much smaller and lighter in colour than Rian and Taharqa so it will be easy for you to identify them. Dr Shrimp is slightly bigger than Rudi and a shade lighter and he has a slightly wonky left ear. It’s a little early to tell much about their personalities yet but Rudi seems to be the more confident of the two, happy to come over for a browse feed and to hang out with the cool, older kids!
How do you transport a giraffe?
Glad you asked! The only transporters of giraffe are based in the Netherlands so it takes a bit of co-ordination. Luckily, Cross Border Animal Services had a few other moves to do in the UK so it all fell into place. They travel in a trailer similar to a horse box but a bit taller obvs! Before they arrived with us our keepers blocked up the gaps between the bars to create solid walls in the giraffe house so if they got spooked they didn’t run into the bars.
Thankfully it was all very calm and they just walked into the house and have spent the last few days getting used to their new surroundings and their new housemates. We haven’t mixed them with Rian and Taharqa in the same bedroom yet and they’re taking it in turns to spend time outdoors in the paddocks, although at the moment they’re happy to be indoors in the shade with this heatwave! Over the coming weeks our giraffe keepers will step up the introduction process once they’ve got used to each other.
Why all boys?
We’re proud to hold a bachelor group of giraffes at Folly Farm having first welcomed giraffes to Folly Farm in 2009. It’s an important role in the breeding programme for this vulnerable species as it allows other zoos to continue with their breeding. We’re often asked if we’ll ever have female giraffes for breeding purposes. We’d love baby giraffes, who wouldn’t? But sometimes conservation is about supporting the work of other zoo collections and it can be hard to find zoos willing to take on male giraffe. So, we’re pleased to help.