No giraffe had even been to France when King Charles X sent a global request in 1824 for additions to his Jardin des Plantes, which already housed rescued circus bears, exotic birds, and a couple of big cats “liberated” from the defunct menagerie at Versailles. Egypt’s Pasha Muhammad Ali, spotting a diplomatic opportunity, sent word to his Ethiopian contacts to find an even more unforgettable animal for Charles and to keep the delicate creature safe all the way down the Nile and over the Mediterranean.Read the fascinating story here
Thanks to Mr. Nag for bringing this story to my attention. It's a good one.