Zarafa the giraffe
Muhammad Ali Pasha, the Viceroy of Egypt, gave Zarafa, the first living giraffe to set foot on French soil, to Charles X as a diplomatic gift. She traveled from Egypt by boat, arriving in Marseilles, where she would spend her first winter in order to acclimatize, on 26 October 1826. The following spring, accompanied by all her entourage, she left for Paris on a journey that would last six weeks. Upon her arrival, Zarafa took up residence in the Royal Menagerie, the modern day Jardin des Plantes, and caused a genuine "giraffomania" resulting in the production of a wide variety of giraffe-related objects.
Zarafa died seventeen years later in 1845 and was stuffed and mounted on a wooden frame. In 1931, she was donated to La Rochelle's Natural History Museum by the National Museum of Natural History.