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Giraffe Jelani arrives at Werribee from New Zealand

10 September 2011

A young male giraffe from Auckland Zoo has arrived safely into Melbourne overnight, following a four-day voyage across the Tasman.

Eighteen month old Jelani is now settling into his new home at Werribee Open Range Zoo. 

Jelani was calm and relaxed throughout his first sea voyage, travelling inside a large container with access for his travelling companions.

He was accompanied by a keeper who has taken care of him since he was born and also a vet from Auckland Zoo.

The young giraffe underwent ‘crate training' in the lead-up to the trip to ensure he was relaxed and comfortable in his surroundings. His luggage included plenty of his favourite foods and enrichment devices like boomer balls.

Two zoo keepers from Werribee Open Range Zoo met the Maersk vessel, JPO Scorpius, on arrival at the Port of Melbourne at 10.30pm last night. They assisted Auckland Zoo staff as Jelani's crate was transferred to a Membrey's Transport vehicle for the final 30 kilometre leg to Werribee.

The young giraffe's move to Australia is to assist the regional breeding program.
Jelani will remain in routine quarantine for a few weeks before being released into the large Lower Savannah where he'll meet his playmates—lots of other giraffe, rhino, zebra and ostrich.

We'll keep you updated on his settling-in period and when his debut in the Lower Savannah will be.