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Friday, October 2, 2015

Giraffe in transit across Nullarbor plain !

In tinseldom, often we hear about ‘chemistry’ between the hero and heroine – being talked about when the film does well !

The Nullarbor Plain (Latin: nullus, "no", and arbor, "tree") is part of the area of flat, almost treeless,  semi-arid country of southern Australia, located on the Great Australian Bight coast with the Great Victoria Desert to its north. It is the world's largest single exposure of limestone bedrock, and occupies an area of about 200,000 square kilometres.  At its widest point, it stretches about 1,100 kilometres (684 mi) from east to west across the border between South Australia and Western Australia.

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-largest city of Australia.  Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely-settled British province in Australia.   On the other side, on Western Australia is Perth ~  the  capital and largest city of  Western Australia.  The  majority of the metropolitan area of Perth is located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp, a low coastal escarpment.

At Adelaide is Monarto Zoological Park, administered by the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia.  I had posted about the birth of a southern white rhinoceros calf being born in the Monarto zoo, Adelaide.  Upon browsing for the Rhino, found some interesting details of a giraffe and more interestingly its transit across thousands of kilometres. 

Asali,  a Perth Zoo giraffe has set off on the adventure of a lifetime — travelling 2200km across the Nullarbor back to her family at Monarto Zoo in Adelaide.The eight-year-old, 4.5 metre tall giraffe, which originally came from Adelaide to participate in Perth Zoo’s breeding program, has been sent back to join an all-female herd after a lack of chemistry with her male counterpart.“The chemistry between her and the male, Armani, has not been what the zoo would have hoped, so Asali is being moved off to Adelaide to join an all-female herd,” Environment Minister Albert Jacob said.

For someone interested in logistics, transportation, marine insurance – the planning offers interesting aspects.Perth Zoo bought specifically designed crate several months ago and planned the route to avoid low bridges and trees.  The Zoo also worked with Western Power to raise any powerlines which might pose a problem for the tall cargo. A Police escort reportedly accompanied the vehicle carrying giraffe – all when the giraffe was familiar with the journey, having been born at Monarto zoo.  The crate used to transport Asali will then head to Queensland to pick up a new female, who zoo keepers are hoping will be able to assist with the WA breeding program.It was quite the procession as police, zoo staff, truck drivers and onlookers watched as the giraffe crate was crane-lifted on to a flat bottom truck and driven down Mill Point Road.  The duration of the transit was also planned  ~and after  more than 24 hours in transit, Asali the giraffe  finally reached South Australia's Monarto Zoo from Perth.

The 4.4-metre-high female giraffe completed the 2,200 kilometre journey, and in a reunion of sorts for the tall lady –Asali, born at the Monarto Zoo –joined  an all-female herd.

Perth Zoo revealed that keepers had spent the past six months teaching Asali to walk in and out of her transport create to ensure she felt comfortable while travelling.The eight-year-old is returning to her birthplace which boasts one of the most successful giraffe breeding programs in the region, with 37 calves born since 1995.  As Asali checked out her new home, authorities stated that there was no special treatment for Asali, who would probably enjoy being back in an open range zoo."She'll hopefully remember, in some way, the animals that she's seen here years ago," said the spokesperson.  Asaliwill however spend the next four weeks in quarantine before joining seven other female giraffes in their enclosure at the open range zoo.

Giraffe numbers in the wild have declined by 40 per cent in the past decade and breeding programmes have by far been successful in maintaining a healthy ratio.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Sept. 2015.


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