Widowed giraffe at Polish zoo to get new mates

By the Associated Press | August 10, 2012 | 12:38 PM EDT

FILE - This May 15, 2012 file photo shows six-year-old male giraffe Tofik left alone at the zoo in Lodz, after his two female partners died in a matter of two days in what zoo officials say was a stress reaction to a hooligan attack. Tofik will get three new female partners next week, from two other Polish zoos and one in Leipzig, Germany, according to Lodz zoo officals on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Marian Zubrzycki, File)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A young male giraffe widowed following a hooligan attack in May is set to get three new female partners at his zoo.

The females will arrive next week from two other Polish zoos and one in Leipzig, Germany, Wlodzimierz Stanislawski, the head of the breeding section at the zoo in Lodz, central Poland, said Friday.

Leipzig zoo is sending 2-year-old Lira and Warsaw zoo 2-year-old Lokatka. The 9-year-old Judita is to come from Plock, in central Poland.

They will fill the void that the 5-year-old Rothschild giraffe Tofik suffered after the death of two companions. Both died of stress following an attack by unidentified vandals who overturned signs and threw benches and garbage cans into animal runs in the nearest neighborhood of the enclosure of the naturally skittish giraffes.

In the weeks after the attacks, Stanislawski said, Tofik lost weight, ate little and reacted with panic to any disturbance. But the giraffe has recovered and is ready for company now, the official said.

Rothschild giraffes are rare and protected subspecies, and the zoo employees hope Tofik and his new companions will mate and produce offspring.