Zuri, a one-year old female Giraffe will be making her way down the North Island today, to join our two female Giraffes in the African Savannah.

The transport of a Giraffe from Auckland Zoo will draw a few double-takes as the tall cargo winds its way down the country. Zuri will be joining our mother and daughter Giraffes here in Wellington, Tisa and Zahara. Tisa is actually Zuri’s grandmother, and Zahara is her aunt! Zuri needs to be moved before she is fully grown, otherwise she would simply be too big to transport.

Animal moves and transfers between good zoos are carefully managed and planned. 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 specially-designed tall crate.

Auckland Zoo’s Pridelands team leader Nat Sullivan, along with Pridelands keeper Henry Davey-Wraight and zoo vet Melanie Leech, will be travelling with Zuri to make sure she is fed and comfortable for the journey.

Zuri is due to arrive in Wellington late on Monday night, and will be moved to the African Savannah on Tuesday morning!

Keep up to date on Zuri’s journey down the country by following @AucklandZoo and @WellingtonZoo on Twitter and Facebook.

Giraffe Fast Facts

  • Giraffe Zuri, born on 23 April 2015, is the offspring of male Zabulu and female Rukiya. She is the granddaughter of Wellington Zoo’s female Giraffe Tisa. 
  • There is just one species of Giraffe, the world’s tallest land animal, but 9 sub-species. Since 1998, habitat loss and poaching has resulted in Giraffe populations plummeting from 140,000 individuals to just 80,000 individuals today.
  • Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund supports the research and conservation work of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) whose research has led to two Giraffe sub-species (Rothschild’s and West African) being formally classified as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List.
  • Wellington Zoo is an active supporter of TRAFFIC, an organisation that aims to reduce illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade. Five percent of the cost for animal transfers is donated directly to TRAFFIC to protect wildlife from illegal trading.