Bachelor giraffe in Bristol finally gets a girlfriend

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Genevieve and Gerald
Image caption,
Genevieve's previous owners needed to find a larger home for the young giraffe

A lonely giraffe in Bristol has finally found love after a worldwide search for a girlfriend which lasted four years.

Genevieve has been introduced to lanky bachelor Gerald following a 1,000 mile (1,609km) journey from Eastern Europe to Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall.

Keepers at the zoo have been searching for a suitable girlfriend for the 15ft (4.6m) male since he arrived in 2006.

Head keeper Chris Wilkinson said that Genevieve was "well worth the wait" and Gerald was "a very lucky giraffe".

'Suitable friend'

The unlucky-in-love giraffe had struck up some unlikely relationships over the years including a "little and large" bond with Eddie the goat.

Now seven-year-old Gerald will not have to bend down quite so far as Genevieve stands only a few feet shorter than him at 12ft (3.7m).

"I've been here since the start, remembering quite clearly our hopes in the early days of keeping giraffes," added Mr Wilkinson.

"We've been looking for a suitable female friend for him ever since that day, with lots of setbacks to contend with and some false starts."

Previous potential partners were ruled out because of Blue Tongue regulations and a foot-and-mouth outbreak in South Africa.

Staff will now monitor the two giraffes closely and help them adjust to each other slowly as Genevieve gets used to her new surroundings.

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