Born in 1944, Michael ALLIN is an American novelist and screenwriter. He is known for his work on “Enter the Dragon” (1973), “Flash Gordon” (1980) and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, (1998). After a long investigation in France and Africa, he completed what would be his first book: Zarafa, a Giraffe’s True Story from Deep in Africa to the Heart of Paris (Walker & Co, 1998). The French version: La girafe de Charles X (trans. Stéphane Carn), was published in France by Lattès in 2000.
“Let’s call it Zarafa…”, it is indeed Allin who deserves the credit for having named our national giraffe. “Maybe it was a Disneyesque reflex, or my practical instinct, but it should be noted that when she arrived in France, she was only called ‘the giraffe’”. Why would we have given another name to this unique model?
The book is well documented and pleasantly written. However, the American writer can be reproached for never mentioning once in his book the name of the first specialist and rediscoverer of the Giraffe in the 20th century: Gabriel Dardaud (see article “Let’s commend Gabriel…”).