Wily escaped giraffe evades capture, hunt goes on

Wily escaped giraffe evades capture, hunt goes on

One of the giraffes is seen here on the run. (Photo by Sonthanaporn Inchan)
One of the giraffes is seen here on the run. (Photo by Sonthanaporn Inchan)

CHACHOENGSAO: The search was continuing on Wednesday for a giraffe that escaped from one of many containers loaded with zoo animals being transported by lorry from Suvarnabhumi airport to an animal breeding station in Prachin Buri province.

The animals were imported by Safari World Plc, which operates a number of zoos in Thailand.

On Tuesday, a convoy of 24 lorries with the animals in containers left Suvarnabhumi airport about 4pm. The destination was an animal breeding station near Rojana Industrial Estate in Mahaphot district of Prachin Buri.

One of the lorries, a six-wheeler, was carrying a container with three giraffes.

Monthon Mongphet, 53, the driver, said that about 5.30pm, as the truck was travelling slowly along Highway 304 in Bang Khla district, he saw two giraffes, one about 4 metres tall and the other 5-6 metres tall, running off into the roadside bushes.

He stopped and found the metal sliding door of the container was open. It had apparently not been properly locked, allowing the giraffes to get out, Mr Monthon said.

About 6pm, people driving along Highway 304 spotted the giraffes in bushes near the Bang Khla intersection in tambon Samet Nua.

They reported it to national park and wildlife officials at the 2nd Forest Conservation Office in Chon Buri's Si Racha district. A team led by Phadet Laithong tracked down and recaptured the 4-metre-tall giraffe with a tranquiliser shot, but there was no sign of the other one.

About 2.30am on Wednesday, Pin Kewkacha, executive chairman of Safari World, arrived to supervise the search.

Mr Pin said it was the first time something like this had occurred in the more than 30 years he had been in the business. He suspected the bolt on the door had been accidentally unlatched while the container was being transferred to the lorry.

He was concerned the animal might stray onto the highway and be hit by a vehicle. Motorists could get hurt. Mr Pin was confident the animal would be recaptured.

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