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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 21:56 GMT
Zoo starts hunt for new giraffes
Paddy the giraffe
Paddy died despite several days of intensive treatment
A Devon zoo has begun the search for new giraffes after three animals died as a result of a fire last week.

Kizi and her six-day old calf, died after the fire broke out in their enclosure at Paignton Zoo.

Kizi's mate, Paddy, died a few days later from smoke inhalation effects. All three were Rothschild giraffes.

The zoo said it had put feelers out to institutions across Europe and that it hoped to be in a position to work on a breeding programme soon.

The zoo said it had been in contact with a number of similar institutions across Europe.

Mammal Curator Neil Bemmont said they hoped they would be in a position to start breeding their own giraffes sooner rather than later.

Staff devastated

Staff said they received "heart-warming" support from zoos and individuals from around the world.

Messages came as far afield as Germany, Israel and the US offering their support after the tragedy.

The zoo said staff were devastated by the loss but are determined to rebuild the herd.

Rothschild giraffes are found on the savannah and open forests of East Africa and are listed as being of "lower risk, conservation dependent" in the IUCN World Conservation Union Red Lists.

The fire on Sunday 12 February was thought to have been caused by an electrical fault.


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