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The true story of Zarafa
The true story of Zarafa

Exhibition at the French National Museum of Natural History from 25 January to 30 April 2012.

The History Room retraces the life of Zarafa, the first ever giraffe to arrive in France during the summer of 1827. She was accompanied on her long journey all the way from Sudan to Paris - by caravan, felucca, and steamship, and finally on foot - by famous French naturalist Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, who kept a diary of the different stages of this incredible journey. For nearly twenty years she was the star of the Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens in Paris, part of the Natural History Museum. Her fame was so widespread that she inspired poetry, clothes, toys and even tableware; whilst more recently she's the star of a brand new cartoon from film maker Rémi Bezançon.

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Paris, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN), bibliothèque centrale
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