Shira the giraffe finds a new home

  • 27/11/2015
Shira the Giraffe in her crate en route to Christchurch (Auckland Zoo)
Shira the Giraffe in her crate en route to Christchurch (Auckland Zoo)

The journey of a giraffe from Auckland to Christchurch is turning heads.

Shira, a two-year-old giraffe from Auckland Zoo, is travelling by road and sea to her new home at Orana Wildlife Park.

She had a good view out the top of a 4.2m crate as she went on a road trip to Ports of Auckland on Wednesday to begin her three-day boat voyage to Timaru.

"Quite a few people were distracted from their flat whites as we drove through Mt Eden Village," the zoo posted on Facebook.

Port of Auckland was happy to welcome the unusual cargo.

"Shira is the first giraffe to visit our port this year - last year we had three - and was quite fond of the camera, much to the delight of our staff," the port posted.

Shira's keepers updated that things were going well on the vessel Shansi and Shira was tucking into a feed of carrots.

She's being taken to Timaru because her crate is too high to fit through Lyttelton Tunnel in Christchurch.

Shira is expected to arrive in Timaru's port at 2pm on Friday and the road trip to Orana Wildlife Park will take about three hours.

A second female giraffe, Mdomo, will be transferred from Auckland Zoo in the new year.

Three team members from Auckland Zoo are accompanying Shira, including team leader Nat Sullivan.

"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," he said.

Shira is the offspring of male Zabulu, a Rothschild giraffe, and female Rukiya, who is part Rothschild.

The Rothschild giraffes have an estimated wild population of just 670 animals. An additional 450 are in zoos worldwide.

NZN