“I had never realised wild animals could have such definite personalities. Her moods are mercurial: she sulks, laughs, plays, pouts and has moments of ecstasy, is stroppy, confident, insecure, and shows many other facets of personality which would make a psychiatrist reel.”
-Raising Daisy Rothschild, (Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville, Penguin Books, 1977)
The Giraffe Centre is currently home to s, seven female and three male. Six were born at the Centre, while four were translocated from different parks and nature conservancies across Kenya.
Named after our founder Betty Leslie-Melville, Betty is the oldest of the tower at 17 years. She is a wild girl at heart, having been brought to the centre from Lake Nakuru National Park, north-west of Nairobi. She prefers to hang out in the forest adjacent to the centre.
You can identify Kelly by her light-brown coat. She is also the tallest of the females. With her, our Educators like to say it’s ‘food for friendship’, so you had better have some pellets in hand when she comes up to you..
Be careful where you stand, Daisy is known to butt heads against guests. She doesn’t particularly like children. Keep watch for a dark-coated giraffe with a clipped left ear, especially if you’ve brought the little ones along. But don’t get her wrong, Daisy can be quite the darling, she’s just choosy about who she shows affection to. It mostly ends up being adults.
Her first home was the Kigio Conservancy, 2 hours west of Nairobi. Upon transferring to the Giraffe Centre six years ago, she’s adapted well to the environment and fellow giraffes. She’s even given birth to a calf who was born in July 2016. You can identify her by her clipped right ear.
If you like sloppy kisses, Salma’s the one for you. She won’t hesitate to take in your whole face! She’s the feisty one with more white on her coat than the rest. Don’t turn your back to her, she wants all of your attention.
She’s got a shimmery light brown coat, just like her mother Kelly. She has also taken after her mother personality-wise. To get her affection and her attention, you’d be wise to have a fistful of feed for her.
He is the biggest of the tower, yet the friendliest. Standing at a whopping 18 ft (5.4 metres) tall, 6-year-old Edd loves people just as much as he loves his . He’s a good and will slurp up food pellets from just about anyone’s lips.
You can’t feed them yet as they are still suckling, but look out for Daisy’s calf, Stacey’s calf and the youngest, Jock VI, strolling about.
Consider them the supporting cast to the giraffe. They tend not to be as stately or as gracious as their taller counterparts. At the Giraffe Centre, expect to see several sounders (that’s the word for a small family group) of warthogs. They too, call the Giraffe Centre home. Like their long-necked neighbours, they eat the same pellets as the giraffe. Throw them some, why don’t you? You can watch as they kneel forward, twisting and turning their heads on the ground to chew them up.