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British Wildlife

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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Academic & Professional Books  Mammals  Insectivores to Ungulates  Antelopes, Giraffes & other Ungulates (Giraffidae - Bovidae)

In the Footsteps of Zarafa, First Giraffe in France A Chronicle of Giraffomania, 1826–1845

By: Olivier Lebleu(Author), Cynthia T Hahn(Translated by), Bruce D Patterson(Foreword By)
200 pages, 48 b/w illustrations, 3 tables
In the Footsteps of Zarafa, First Giraffe in France
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  • In the Footsteps of Zarafa, First Giraffe in France ISBN: 9781538142240 Paperback Aug 2020 Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • In the Footsteps of Zarafa, First Giraffe in France ISBN: 9781538142233 Hardback Aug 2020 Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
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About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

This engaging account traces the remarkable history of France's first giraffe, a diplomatic gift from Egyptian Pasha Muhammed-Ali to King Charles X in 1826. "Zarafa," taken by boat from Egypt to Marseilles and walked all the way to Paris, was accompanied by her Arab handlers and a famous French naturalist. She drew vast crowds along her route, sparking a giraffomania that was widely documented in art and literature. Her initial journey and then long and celebrated residence in Paris encapsulates nineteenth-century French socio-political history and highlights the emerging evolutionary theories of the time. Over fifty illustrations from the period illuminate this rare encounter with a unique animal that is now endangered and deserving of our greater attention and understanding.


Author’s note
Foreword by Bruce D. Patterson

1 The giraffe before Zarafa: A polymorphous monster
2 Illustrious godparents: A predestined animal
3 The pasha’s gift: Ddiplomacy at stake
4 Zarafa in France: A royal triumph
5 The animal under a magnifying glass: An aberration of nature
6 Between science and religion: An animal at a price
7 Trade and giraffomania: Marketing materials
8 Political caricature: A satirical weapon
9 Zarafa’s legacy: An existential fable

About the author and translator

Customer Reviews


A writer, novelist, and translator from La Rochelle, France, where Zarafa has been preserved in a local museum, Olivier Lebleu has researched and written about the “first giraffe of France” for fifteen years. This book is a translation of his celebrated history, Les Avatars de Zarafa (Arléa, 2006), later followed by his play, Le Talisman de la Girafe (Amok, 2017).

Cynthia T. Hahn is professor of French at Lake Forest College, Illinois. A published poet, she has translated ten novels, collections of short stories, and volumes of poetry by Algerian, French, and Lebanese authors.

By: Olivier Lebleu(Author), Cynthia T Hahn(Translated by), Bruce D Patterson(Foreword By)
200 pages, 48 b/w illustrations, 3 tables
Media reviews

"The story of Zarafa is an engaging historical account of African-European encounters that should activate the reader's love of the giraffe and help save this incredible, endangered animal. This well-researched book by Olivier Lebleu contributes to our efforts to support global understanding of how wildlife such as the giraffe and people may thrive together."
– Derek Lee and Monica Bond, Wild Nature Institute, Tanzania

"The story of Zarafa is a fascinating look into the not-so-distant relationships of humans with giraffes and how they were brought to Western culture. Understanding history is the first step to moving forward toward a better future – for the human and animal worlds alike."
– Jack Hanna, host, Jack Hanna's Into the Wild and Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown

"Giraffa display marvelous adaptations to their savanna ecosystems and have achieved considerable evolutionary success over the last eleven million years, but they face unprecedented challenges in the twenty-first century [...] Resolving these challenges and reversing these declines clearly depends on humans. Lebleu and Hahn offer us a very timely perspective [...] as giraffes need our attention and support now more than ever."
– Bruce D. Patterson, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago

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