Fota names two new arrivals after brave swimmer Paraic

Two exotic animals recently born at Fota Wildlife Park in Cork have been named after a former member of staff who lost his life on a charity swim across the English Channel.

Paraic Casey, who died on Jul 21, was a member of the park’s education team and provided informative tours and talks for the public and schoolchildren.

In a tribute to the Passage West man, the park authorities have named a black and white Ruffed lemur Paraic and a female Rothschild giraffe Casey.

The giraffe was born just hours before Paraic lost his life. She was born to mother Bláithín and first time father Walda, who originally came from the Czech Republic.

Management also decided to name the critically endangered lemur baby after the heroic swimmer.

He is the first of his species to be born at the Cork attraction.

The lemur was born at the beginning of July to mother Pudden and father Podge.

It spent the first few weeks in a tree nest which the mother started to build a week before the birth.

The lemurs are the only primate species that build a nest as the babies are carried around.

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 park’s own website.

In the end, park staff decided it would be fitting to name two animals after their late colleague.

Staff and visitors to Fota Wildlife Park have also raised €2,000 for Marymount Hospice which was one of the charities Paraic Casey planned to aid.

It brings the total raised for Paraic’s charities to over €15,000.

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