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Giraffe Zuri arrives at Wellington home

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/05/2016

A young giraffe has completed its awkward journey from Auckland to reunite with family in Wellington, but not without a few hitches.

One-year-old Zuri spent much of Monday poking out of a tall box on the back of a truck, amusing drivers across the North Island afer leaving Auckland Zoo in the morning.

The team transporting the female giraffe documented the journey, including a few rest and snack stops in places such as Taupo, Tokoroa and Bulls.

The trip has also included a few close calls and one squeeze with an overbridge in Auckland, although keepers said the giraffe remained relaxed and happy.

It arrived about midnight, according to Auckland Zoo's Twitter feed.

Zuri will be moved to the African Savannah at Wellington Zoo on Tuesday morning where it will join its grandmother Tisa and aunt Zahara.

Giraffes are difficult to transport, and the animal care teams at both zoos have had to consider all kinds of logistics for the move, including the safest route through Wellington to accommodate the tall crate, animal science manager Simon Eyre says.

"Zuri needs to be moved before she is fully grown, otherwise she would simply be too big to transport," he said.

Auckland Zoo's Pridelands team leader Nat Sullivan says the move had been carefully managed.

"We've driven a giraffe to Hamilton before, but never as far as Wellington."


* Born on April 23, 2015

* The offspring of male Zabulu and female Rukiya

* The granddaughter of Wellington Zoo's female giraffe Tisa

* There is just one species of giraffe, the world's tallest land animal, but nine sub-species

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