Reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Zuri the giraffe arrives at her new home

Zuri the giraffe is getting a first glimpse of her new home.

The 1-year-old has just been released into her new enclosure in the African Savannah habitat at Wellington Zoo, following a marathon journey from Auckland.

It's a cold welcome to the capital for the giraffe, with southerlies and a high of just 10C today.

Zuri made the long trip from her former home at Auckland Zoo yesterday.

"It was a long journey but she coped incredibly well," said Auckland Zoo spokeswoman Kate Orgias.

Shortly before midnight, the Auckland Zoo's official Twitter page posted a message letting followers know: "We made it to Wellington Zoo! #giraffeOnTheMove."


The calf is joining mother and daughter giraffes Tisa and Zahara in the capital.

Earlier yesterday, the 1-year-old giraffe peeked out the top of her crate as she was driven along State Highway 1, greeted by many excited Kiwis along the way.

Zuri's big adventure began a little late yesterday morning, and even took a trip through Mt Eden Village and past Auckland's High Court before heading south, followed by a car full of leafy greens for hourly snack breaks.

She took a rest in Bombay, was waved to by fans in Hamilton, had a sit down in Taupo and excited the locals in Tokoroa.

After whipping along the Desert Rd, she stopped to say hello to some school kids in Waiouru, and thought Bulls was remarkable, according to her Twitter account.

Zuri was born at the zoo in April last year. She is Auckland Zoo's 32nd giraffe calf.

Zuri is the second giraffe to make a southward journey from Auckland Zoo in recent months.

In November last year, 2-year-old giraffe Shira took a three-day sea voyage to Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park as part of the Australasian zoos' regional breeding programme.

Travelling in a specially made 4m tall crate, Shira made her journey via Timaru's port because she was too tall to fit through the Lyttelton tunnel.

- NZ Herald

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