Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Zoo's new giraffe to be named after tragic Coleraine baby

George the giraffe. Credit: Belfast Zoo
George the giraffe. Credit: Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo has decided to name its newest arrival after a baby boy from Coleraine who tragically passed away aged just seven months.

George Evans was born to mum Kirsty Doherty and her partner Johnny Evans in January 2018 with an undiagnosed brain condition.

He passed away on August 27 after a short but meaningful life.

Mum Kirsty created the 'George And The Giraffe' Facebook page to document George's life and keep his memory alive.

Throughout his life George was accompanied by a toy giraffe.

When Belfast Zoo welcomed a new Rothschild’s giraffe earlier this month they took to social media to ask for suggestions for a name.

It was suggested that naming the giraffe George would be the perfect tribute.

On Thursday evening Belfast Zoo announced that they had decided to name the giraffe 'George' after George Evans.

Reacting to the news George's mum Kirsty said the family was "totally over the moon".

"Thank you everyone for all your love and support! This wouldn’t have happened without all your lovely comments," she wrote on the Facebook page.

"Massive thank you also to Belfast Zoo so excited to see him tomorrow!"

The newly-christened George is set to take his first steps outside at the zoo tomorrow.

Rothschild’s giraffes are one of the most endangered giraffe subspecies, with only small numbers remaining in protected areas in Kenya and northern Uganda. Some estimates suggest less than 1600 remain in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss.

Belfast Zoo first became home to this species in 1988 and has now celebrated the arrival of 35 giraffe calves.

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