Karnataka

Mysuru giraffe travels 3,200 km by road to Guwahati zoo

The giraffe inside the crate on way to Guwahati zoo.

The giraffe inside the crate on way to Guwahati zoo.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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This was perhaps the longest distance a giraffe has travelled on road in recent decades, say zoo authorities

The management of the century-old Mysuru zoo has created a record of sorts by successfully transporting a 12-foot tall male giraffe to Guwahati in Assam, covering a distance of about 3,200 km, including the roads in the hill terrains, through many States in a custom-built crate that was mounted on a long-chassis truck.

It’s not the first time the zoo, which has expertise in the captive breeding of giraffes, has ferried the tallest land animal on the long-distance routes. What is unique in this case was the distance. This was perhaps the longest distance a giraffe has travelled on road so far in the recent decades, claimed the zoo authorities.

The Mysuru zoo had in the past transported a giraffe to Patna zoo, covering a distance of about 1,800 km. Bheem, the male giraffe, was exchanged with another animal in Patna zoo in 2014.

The giraffe, Jayachamarajendra, aged about 14 months, safely reached Guwahati after eight days of travel on the truck and has already acclimatized to the new home in Assam capital. The giraffe was exchanged with an Indian rhino which is being brought from Guwahati by the team that transported Jayachamarajendra.

The zoo had been making preparations for its long-distance travel for six months. Food and other essentials for the animal were from Mysuru.

An 8-member team, including vets, keepers and helpers, which had accompanied the giraffe to Guwahati, had put in a lot of efforts to ensure its safe journey with the animal being tall and sensitive.

Especially the journey from Kolkata was gruelling with many ghats, congested roads en route. Carrying the tallest animal by road was a big challenge for the team.

“I call this mission as a record because of the sheer distance and the difficult routes. Clearing hurdles such as the height issue, hanging electric wires, slow driving and so on, the animal reached safely,” said Zoo Executive Director Ajit Kulkarni.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr Kulkarni claimed that the road journey of Jayachamarajendra from Mysuru to Guwahati can be considered the longest a giraffe has covered so far in the country. “I deem it a major achievement and a milestone for the zoo. A giraffe was recently transported from Kolkata to Hyderabad but the distance our animal covered was more,” he said.

In some places, the team had to wait for hours to get congestion-free traffic on the highways for its transport, he added.

The giraffe, born to Yuvaraja and Bubbly in the zoo here, underwent preparatory training for six months, and was familiarised to the 16-foot tall crate and was fed inside the enclosure as part of acclimatisation process.

The giraffe responded well and has made its new home in Guwahati. It is now sharing its enclosure with a companion. “The giraffe’s travel can be a case study and we can guide other zoos on how animals like giraffes can be transported successfully from one place to another,” Mr Kulkarni said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 10:24:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mysuru-giraffe-travels-3200-km-by-road-to-guwahati-zoo/article30287415.ece

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