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A Tall Order – First of Two Giraffes On The Move to Orana

A Tall Order – First of Two Giraffes On The Move to Orana


Orana Wildlife Park is transferring two lofty lasses, young female giraffes, from Auckland Zoo as part of the zoo-based breeding programme for these majestic animals. Currently, one animal, Shira (2), is on board the 25,000 tonne SHANSI, embarking upon a three day sea voyage from Auckland and is expected to arrive in Timaru tomorrow afternoon. Once unloaded, she will then have a three hour road trip to Christchurch. A second giraffe, Mdomo, will be transferred from Auckland Zoo in the New Year.

“Our team is very excited to be welcoming Shira shortly and Mdomo soon after as the movements boost our herd to five female giraffes. These transfers demonstrate how zoos work collaboratively together for species management. Unfortunately giraffes face the ongoing threat of poaching and habitat loss and their wild population has significantly reduced” says Rob Clifford, Orana’s Head Keeper of Exotic Mammals.

“In the future Orana will liaise with the species co-ordinator to source a suitable male with the aim of once again breeding these wonderful animals. In fact, Shira’s father Zabulu was born at Orana in 1998 before moving to Auckland. I am sure Park visitors will enjoy meeting Shira – giraffes are one of our most popular animals as visitors can hand feed these gentle giants.”

Three team members from Auckland Zoo will accompany Shira on her journey to Orana, including Pridelands team leader Nat Sullivan.

Says Nat: “Shira and Mdomo are close in age and great mates. Whilst it’s sad to see these youngsters go, their relocation to Orana is a really great move for the regional programme as they are both genetically valuable animals. Shira will be placed in a protected area on the ship and we’ll have full access to check on her at all times. Hopefully we’ll get a smooth sailing!”

Shira is due to arrive in Timaru at approximately 2pm tomorrow. “Upon arrival at Orana, Shira will be integrated with our three females. We very much look forward to working with her” concludes Rob.

- ENDS -

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