Sunny, a young male giraffe, has arrived from a zoo in Australia to join Wellington Zoo’s two female giraffes in the African Savannah this weekend.

Sunny, a young male giraffe has arrived at Wellington Zoo

Sunny, a young male giraffe is en route to Wellington Zoo

We are incredibly excited to be welcoming another giraffe into our herd at Wellington Zoo. Giraffes are very social animals and Sunny will be joining our aunty and niece duo in Wellington, Zahara and Zuri.

Sunny sailed on a large cargo ship to Auckland, and he is currently being transported via road to Wellington, with his arrival planned for Sunday morning.

Herbivore Team Leader Bobby with Sunny the giraffe and Veterinarian Emily

Herbivore Team Leader Bobby with Sunny the giraffe and Veterinarian Emily

Animal moves and transfers between progressive zoos are carefully managed and planned, ensuring the animals will be well cared for at their new zoo, and that they’re coming from a good zoo in the first place.

Transporting a giraffe presents some unique logistical challenges, which is why it’s taken the team at Wellington Zoo a few months to organise the quickest, yet safest route for Sunny. Sunny needs to be moved before he is fully grown, otherwise he would simply be too big to transport!

Sunny’s welfare is the utmost priority to us, so to ensure the move goes smoothly, Herbivore Team Leader, Bobby Stoop and Veterinarian, Dr Emily Kay are travelling with Sunny, alongside one of Sunny’s Keepers who has worked with him since he was young. The team are making sure Sunny is fed and comfortable for the whole journey and we are looking forward to welcoming him to our giraffe herd at the Zoo.

Veterinarian Emily Kay checks on Sunny during the move

Veterinarian Emily Kay checks on Sunny during the move

It will be a few days until Zoo visitors can catch a glimpse of the new arrival, as Sunny will be in the Giraffe House for a mandatory quarantine period, before being introduced to Zahara and Zuri.

Keep an eye out on our social media channels for more updates on Sunny and when he will be out in the habitat!


Giraffe Fast Facts

  • Sunny the giraffe was born on 1 November 2017 
  • Sunny stands tall at 3.5m and is currently 420kg
  • Since the 1980s, habitat loss and poaching has resulted in Giraffe populations declining from 155,000 individuals to approximately 110,000 individuals today.
  • Wellington Zoo is an active supporter of TRAFFIC, an organisation that aims to reduce illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade. Five percent of the cost of animal transfers is donated directly to TRAFFIC from the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund to protect wildlife from illegal trading.