Is it Love at first lick?
Posted by African Press International on May 24, 2007
Newly arrived Thembi has hit it off well with heartbroken Malin, the giraffe that lost her mate recently at Dyreparken (Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park).
Malin, left, and Thembi meet for the first time.
PHOTO: ANDERS MARTINSEN
|Picture Story: New giraffe arrives! – 23.05.2007|
|Georg the giraffe put down – 30.03.2007|
The ferry from Copenhagen to Kristiansand arrived Wednesday morning with an unusual and valuable passenger, Thembi, who it would hoped would cheer up Malin, 18, whose mate Georg died this March.
Georg had to be put down after injuring his foot so badly that it would not heal. Since then Malin has shown clear signs of mourning, Dyreparken veterinarian Gunn Holem Robstad said.
“Malin has clearly been upset and eats less than she used to. She has just been moping around,” Robstad said.
Robstad was at the quay waiting for young Thembi, 3, to arrive. After completing the necessary paperwork, Thembi was taken to a quarantined area on the Zoo’s savannah.
“It went very well. When the giraffe was let out he was clearly nervous and ran back and forth. It was a bit scary for him, but after a while he calmed down,” Per Arnstein Aamot, managing director of Kristiansand Dyrepark, told Aftenposten.no.
It didn’t take long before Thembi got up the courage to go over to Malin, who was standing and waiting in the doorway.
The two hit it off quickly, and after a bit of sniffing, there was a bit of cuddling and a lick on the snout.
“It couldn’t have gone better, this was just perfect,” said zookeeper Michael Jansen.
In a month’s time Thembi will be out of quarantine and visitors will be able to see him up close. He should reach sexual maturity in a few years.
“We are hoping for some little giraffes but we will have to be patient,” Aamot said.
By Randi Johannessen, Anders Martinsen and Jonathan Tisdall
Published by Korir, African Press International, api, firstname.lastname@example.org tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source. aftenposteneng.