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Giraffe Number Two Moving To Christchurch Zoo

Giraffe Number Two Moving To Christchurch Zoo

Mdomo in travel crate

Orana Wildlife Park is set to welcome a second female giraffe from Auckland Zoo. Mdomo (2) is being transferred south as part of the zoo-based regional breeding programme for these magnificent animals. Upon arrival at Orana, she will be reunited with half-sister Shira (2) who moved from Auckland to Christchurch prior to Christmas. Mdomo is travelling to Timaru by sea and will then have a road trip to Christchurch.

Orana’s Exotic Mammals Manager, Rob Clifford says: “Our team is eagerly anticipating the arrival of Mdomo and we hope the remainder of the voyage south continues to go well. On arrival, she will be integrated with our herd of four females, including Shira who has settled in nicely and will be a familiar face for Mdomo; it will be great to reunite the two animals.

Both transfers are taking place to support the managed regional breeding programme for these wonderful animals and in time, following programme recommendations, we aim to source a suitable male. Unfortunately giraffes face the ongoing threat of poaching and habitat loss and their wild population has significantly reduced” adds Rob.

Three team members from Auckland Zoo are accompanying Mdomo on her journey. Says Pridelands team leader Nat Sullivan: "It's great that Shira has settled in so well with Orana's other three female giraffes since her move last November. Now with Mdomo's imminent arrival, Shira's going to have the added bonus of being able to reunite with her half-sister following three months apart. We're looking forward to seeing that reunion and to settling Mdomo in to her new home."

Orana animal keeper Rosie Pinder, who is also on board the ship (the SHAOSHING), reports that the transfer has gone well so far: “Everything has been smooth sailing and Mdomo has taken it all in her stride. She has had some rest and is eating well.”

Mdomo is currently due to arrive in Timaru (see notes below) around 10.00pm tomorrow evening, Friday 26 February.

Mdomo’s journey from Timaru to Orana Wildlife Park:

• The ship (SHAOSHING) is due to arrive in Timaru around 10.00pm, Friday 26 February.

• Mdomo will be unloaded and embark upon a road trip to Christchurch, arriving at Orana Wildlife Park in the early hours of Saturday morning. She would then be unloaded from her travel crate to Orana’s Giraffe Enclosure at approximately 7.30am on Saturday 27 February. (Please note, times are subject to change).

• The travel route from Timaru will likely be: SH78, SH 1 North travelling through Temuka and Ashburton. Prior to entering Christchurch, Mdomo will be transported along Dawsons Road, on to Chattertons Road and then McLeans Island Road to her new home at Orana Wildlife Park.

About Giraffes

• Giraffes are the tallest animals on the planet! Giraffes are equipped with a heart the size of a basketball which pumps the blood all the way to the brain, assisted by some sophisticated plumbing, a series of one–way valves that ensure no backflow between heartbeats.

• Giraffes have few enemies. They can run at over 50 kph, sufficient to out–run most predators. If cornered, they can kick with great power. They can also use their heads as battering rams.

• Despite their huge size, giraffes are superbly camouflaged. When they feed, their dappled colours mimic the interplay of sunlight through leaves and branches.

• Giraffes are one of the Park’s most popular animals owing to a special experience where visitors have the opportunity to hand feed these majestic creatures.

• Orana Wildlife Park has been involved in the international zoo-based breeding programme for giraffes for over thirty years.

• Young are born after a gestation period of 15 months. Females give birth standing up, so the calf has an awkward 2 metre fall to the ground!

• Giraffe are classified as Least Concern (IUCN). Still they are threatened by habitat loss and poaching. If you have the opportunity to see such animals in the wild don’t be fooled into buying an animal memento of your experience – they DO need their tails.

About Orana Wildlife Park

Orana Wildlife Park is NZ’s only open range zoo and is home to over 400 animals from more than 70 different species. In 2015, Orana completed the most ambitious project in its history – a Great Ape Centre for New Zealand’s only gorillas. The Park is owned and operated by Orana Wildlife Trust, a registered charitable trust. The Trust is committed to the conservation of wildlife diversity on this planet. Our aims, along with being dedicated to the conservation of endangered species and the welfare of our animals, are to provide education, recreation and enjoyment to the public and to support research relating to endangered animals. The Trust is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) and ZAA NZ.


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