Lehigh Valley

Murphy the giraffe makes debut at Lehigh Valley Zoo

Murphy the giraffe makes debut at...

SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. - It was the moment workers at the Lehigh Valley Zoo have been waiting for - Murphy the giraffe's first appearance.

His barn door was open around 8 a.m. Tuesday and visitors were eager to see 15-year-old Murphy up close, but they had to wait a while.

Murphy made his entrance five hours later and started right in on the overhanging trees.

All of the trees around the perimeter are non-toxic so it's like Murphy has a salad bar outside his door.

Zoo President Melissa Boreland said the staff worked hard to build a perfect yard, sort of like Africa without fences.

"This has been a long time coming. We worked really hard to make sure he had a beautiful yard, the keepers did a fantastic job of combing over it and making sure that is was just perfect for him," she said.

Murphy's debut comes a few weeks after Murphy's son, 6-year-old Ernie, died from a neck injury shortly after being transported from the Kansas City Zoo.

Borland said the investigation and tests on how Ernie died are still underway.

Murphy is now mingling with visitors.

"It's really cool because I never saw an animal that big," said visitor Ayad Mahmoud.

Boreland said in a few weeks the feeding deck will open so people can get up close and personal with the zoo's new star resident.

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