LifestyleShining A Light


Mini Doc: The special bond between Lion Country Safari handlers, the giraffes they care for

Keeping the memory of Jioni alive
Posted: 3:24 PM, Jun 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-28 15:28:47-04

The memory of one of the giraffes that died when it was struck by lightning at Lion Country Safari in May will live on after a field research trip to Africa.

"As you know, we did lose two giraffes recently, and one of them was an absolute staff favorite: Jioni," says keeper Ashley Ullrick.

The loss of 1-year-old Jioni (pictured below) and 10-year-old Lily impacted people across our community and the world.

On Safari, keepers Ullrick and Kimberly Good spotted a newly identified giraffe which did not yet have a name. A researcher from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation gave them an opportunity.

"Without even speaking [Kimberly and I] just looked at each other and immediately knew what his name should be. So now, it's really special for us to have a giraffe named Jioni (pictured below) out in Nambia wondering around; so we know his name is carried on," Ullrick weeps.

Read more about the day in the life of the giraffe keepers at Lion Country Safari.