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The First Giraffe in France

In 1825, a baby giraffe was taken from her mother and shipped by camel, by ship, and on foot to Paris as a gift from the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt to King Charles X. She was called “la Belle Africaine” or “la girafe,” and has since been called Zarafa, which is the Arabic word from which we derive the word "giraffe." Her arrival caused a sensation across the country, and fashion turned to giraffe-mania as the French used giraffe imagery for everything from hair styles to wallpaper.
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