Close encounter for giraffe fan Ruby

By Heather Large | Entertainment | Published:

Birthday girl Ruby Holloway definitely dressed the part when she came to Dudley Zoo to feed her adopted giraffe, Kubwa.

Ruby Holloway feeding her adopted giraffe Kubwa

The eight-year-old Huntingtree Primary School pupil from Halesowen wore a black hoodie with ‘Kubwa’ printed on the sleeve and a pink t-shirt with his photo on.

The garment also said ‘Kubwa’s Adopted Mommy 2018’ as the giraffe-mad youngster had been treated to an adoption pack for Kubwa for her birthday.

Ruby’s family had the personalised clothing made for her and also gave her a giraffe Close Encounter experience to feed 17-year-old Kubwa and nine-year-old female, Josie.

Ruby said: “I loved feeding the giraffes and got to ask the staff lots of questions. I’m crazy about giraffes and at home I have piles of giraffe toys, a giraffe duvet cover and a 3D picture of a giraffe on my wall.”

Mother Clare said: “It’s been a great day and Ruby felt really special in her Kubwa clothing. Her sister came up with the idea for the hoodie and t-shirt and it will be a great reminder of the feed experience and the year she adopted Kubwa.”

Ruby visited the zoo with her mother Clare, father Ian, 19-year-old sister Meghan and her sister’s boyfriend Kieren Billingham.

Rothschild’s giraffes are the world’s rarest subspecies of giraffe.

Named after naturalist, Lord Walter Rothschild, they are also known as Baringo giraffes after the Lake Baringo area of Kenya.


They are easily identified by the colouring of their coat, which is made up of ragged brown patches separated by lighter creamier-coloured hair, with no markings to the lower leg.

Each giraffe has a unique coat pattern, like a fingerprint.

Giraffes form small scattered herds of up to 10 animals, with young males living together in bachelor groups, but becoming solitary as they mature.

Adult males establish a dominance hierarchy, by aggressive sparring involving necking – similar to arm wrestling in humans. The dominant male spends most of his time seeking females in season.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.


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