Camel Leopard

Julius Caesar was the first to bring a giraffe to Europe in 46BC and it must have been a very strange sight. People believed it resembled a camel in its shape and a leopard in its markings so it was called a camelopard. It’s species name today, camelopardalis, still reflects this.

I will give an account of the so-called camelopard, because it was then introduced into Rome by Caesar for the first time and exhibited to all. This animal is like a camel in all respects except that its legs are not all of the same length, the hind legs being the shorter. Beginning from the rump it grows gradually higher, which gives it the appearance of mounting some elevation; and towering high aloft, it supports the rest of its body on its front legs and lifts its neck in turn to an unusual height. Its skin is spotted like a leopard, and for this reason it bears the joint name of both animals.

Dio, Roman History (XLIII.23.1-2)