Two juvenile Giraffes at Taronga Western Plains Zoo will take a road trip to their new home in Victoria at Werribee Zoo today, Friday 1 May 2009.
The pair, both males, will travel from Taronga Western Plains Zoo to Werribee in two specially designed transport crates, onboard a low loader over 850km south to their final destination.
Before Giraffe can be transported they must be accustomed to the crates they will travel in on the journey.
"Keepers have been working closely with the pair, named Thembi and Amani, to condition them to be comfortable in their travel crates, as this assists in keeping them calm during the loading process and the journey, and ensures that everything goes to plan," said Life Sciences Manager, Paul Metcalfe.
"Transporting Giraffe anywhere is a major logistical operation and one that the team at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has undertaken on numerous occasions, most recently importing two Giraffe from New Zealand," said Paul.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo Keeper Pascale Benoit will travel with the pair all the way to Werribee along with two Zoo Keepers and a Veterinarian from Werribee Zoo. Once there Pascale will stay a couple of days to help the Giraffe settle into their new environment and become accustomed to their new keepers.
Amani and Thembi were born three weeks apart in December 2007 and have been a favourite with visitors to the Zoo since they were born. The pair, who are actually half brothers, will join a new herd as ambassadors for their species at Werribee Zoo.
The pair will undergo a 30 day quarantine period at Werribee Zoo before joining two other male giraffe on a mixed exhibit along with Rhinos, Zebra and Antelope.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo now has 10 Giraffe on the main exhibit as well as three Giraffe on the African Savannah exhibit.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located at Dubbo in Central Western NSW. The Zoo is open everyday from 9am - 4pm. For more information about Zoo visit www.taronga.org.au or contact 6881 1400.