Jabari, Zoo Boise’s solo giraffe, will get a new friend in the coming months. Tafari, an 19-month-old male giraffe born at the Milwaukee County Zoo, will join the Boise family, returning the herd to two bachelors.
Tafari replaces Julius Longfellow, who had to be euthanized last month after the 11-year-old animal tore a shoulder muscle and could not stand.
“By all reports from Milwaukee, Tafari is a charmer,” said Liz Littman, Zoo Boise assistant director.
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He has lighter spots than Julius and Jabari, weighs more than 900 pounds, is more than 10 feet tall and loves bananas.
The giraffe was the focus of Zoo Boise’s Idaho Gives campaign on Thursday. The zoo was seeking to raise $20,000 to get Tafari from Wisconsin to Idaho via the International Animal Exchange, a company that specializes in giraffe transportation.
He’s also a spot of good news after the loss of Julius — an incident hard on zoo staff, volunteers and the entire Boise community, said Littman.
Julius came to Boise in 2008 and was a favorite of zoo visitors. He was featured in the zoo’s Giraffe Encounters, a chance for people to feed a giraffe for an additional $3 fee. The funds from that behind-the-scenes encounter went to the zoo’s conversation programs. Julius raised about $200,000.
“Everyone was really sad,” Littman said of the death. “Even people who just rode by on the Greenbelt really loved him. He was very personable and really seemed to enjoy his interactions with humans.”