In a tribute to the late Paraic Casey, Fota Wildlife Park has named a female Giraffe calf Casey and a male Black and White Ruffed Lemur Paraic.
The names of the animals were announced along with the naming of another female calf Aoibhinn. All three animals have received a lot of attention in the last few weeks with members of the public suggesting hundreds of names through Facebook, Twitter and the parks own website. In the end staff at the park decided that it would be fitting to name two animals after their late colleague.
Casey the Giraffe calf was born on 21st of July hours before Paraic tragically lost his life whilst swimming across the English Channel for charity. Casey was born to mother Blaithin and 1st time father in the park Walda who originally came from the Czech Republic.
The second calf Aoibhinn also female was born in amidst of public excitement as mother Sapphire gave birth in front of thousands on August 10th with father Tadgh looking on anxiously. The birth became an online sensation as clips and photos were posted up on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter within hours of the birth by visitors to the park who were lucky to witness one of the wonders of the animal kingdom.
The birth of the two female calves brings the number of Rothschild Giraffes at Fota Wildlife Park up to 10. The news is even better when you consider that fewer than 700 hundred Rothschild Giraffes now exist in the wild in western Kenya and eastern Uganda because of the destruction of their habitat and farming developments in their native ranges.
Fota Wildlife Park also announced that Paraic would be the name for the critically endangered Black and White Ruffed lemur baby after the heroic swimmer. Baby Paraic is a significant birth at Fota Wildlife Park as it is the very first baby Black and White ruffed lemur to be born at the Cork attraction.
Staff and Visitors to Fota Wildlife Park have also raised €2,000 for Marymount Hospice in Cork one of the charities Paraic was fundraising for. This amount brings the total raised by Paraic to over €15,000; people can continue to donate via http://www.mycharity.ie/event/paraics_channel_swim