The English Giraffe


The English Giraffe

On 10 November 2015, the “Exotic Creatures” exhibition presenting the wild animals in England in Georgian and Victorian times, opened at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton for three months. However, the occasion did not allow me to find the naturalized remains of the English cousin of our dear Zarafa.

Offered by the same pasha of Egypt, the English giraffe died in Windsor on October 11, 1829, exactly two years and two months after her arrival, on August 11, 1827. The giraffe’s skeleton and skin (taxidermied by John Gould) were presented as a gift by the new king, William IV, to the Zoological Society of London. The taxidermied remains were stored in the museum at the zoo until its closure in 1855, when they were purchased by a Dr. Crisp. The trace was then lost.

The attached photo is a portrait of our beautiful English lady by the Swiss painter Jacques-Laurent Agasse (1767-1849).

Olivier LEBLEU

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