13 May 2019

New young giraffe arrives at Wellington Zoo

4:58 pm on 13 May 2019

Wellington Zoo welcomed the delivery of a young giraffe from a zoo in Australia this morning.

The female giraffe calf stands in front of her mother Kiraka.

Photo: Supplied

Sunny the giraffe is just over a year old but he is 3.5m tall and weighs 420kg.

Zuri prepares for the trip to Wellington.

Zuri prepares for the trip to Wellington. Photo: Supplied: Auckland Zoo

He came on a large cargo ship from Australia to Auckland and was then transported by road down to Wellington this morning.

To ensure Sunny was comfortable during his almost 650km road trip, he travelled with the zoo's herbivore team leader Bobby Stoop, a veterinarian and a keeper who has looked after Sunny since he was a young calf.

The zoo's animal science manager, Simon Eyre, said it had taken staff a few months to organise the quickest and safest route for Sunny due to the "unique logistical challenges" that arise when transporting a giraffe.

"Sunny needs to be moved before he is fully grown, otherwise he would simply be too big to transport," Mr Eyre said.

The herbivore team leader at Wellington Zoo, Bobby Stoop, said the team was incredibly excited to be welcoming another giraffe into their herd.

"Sunny will be joining our aunty and niece duo in Wellington, Zahara and Zuri."

Sunny will be in the zoo's Giraffe House for a mandatory quarantine period before he is introduced to Zahara and Zuri.

Members of the public will be able to catch a glimpse of the giraffe in its new enclosure in a few days.

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