***Please note: Giraffes and all wild animals make lousy pets. Please, do not be tempted.
Meet Tala, the orphan giraffe. Tala was only a few days old when her mother died from unknown circumstances. Orphaned and alone, she ended up following a herd of goats back to their boma. There she was cared for by the goat herder until he was able to bring her to Ekorian’s Mugie Camp in the Mugie Conservancy in northwest Laikipia. Kenya.
A Mugie Camp staff member, Margaret, or ‘Mama Tala’ as she was affectionately dubbed, was her askari and took care of her.
Tala drank 3 litres of milk per day, and slept in her own custom-built pen for shelter and protection at night. Mama Tala was never far behind as Tala roamed freely around Mugie Camp headquarters during the day. Once she had graduated from milk, her favourite food became young acacia tree branches.
Now, as a fully-grown giraffe, she’s still a usual around Mugie Camp, and towers above us all. She drops by the manager’s house for breakfast, sticking her very long neck through the window for a piece of toast, a tree tomato, or anything else she likes the look of.
Tala still sees Mama Tala as her mother, and every time Tala goes missing, it’s Mama Tala who gets asked to go find her. As you can imagine, Tala is quite the character – a real social butterfly – and seeing her napping in the garden, or ducking under the bougainvillea to come say hello, never gets old!