Home' The Wellingtonian : January 31st 2013 Contents 4 THE WELLINGTONIAN, JANUARY 31, 2013
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Giraffe replacement some way off
By MARY BAINES
Much missed: Seun the giraffe.
It could be several years before
Wellington Zoo gets a replacement
for Seun the giraffe, which died
Marketing and communications
manager Kate Baker said plans
were under way to import a pair of
breeding giraffe calves from the
other side of the world but it could
take considerable time.
To introduce a new genetic line,
it was likely the couple would be
imported from North America.
Those in the Pacific region were
too genetically close to the giraffes
already at the zoo, she said.
Zahara, 8, and her mother, Tisa,
22, are hybrid Rothschild and
reticulated giraffes, a line that is
well represented in Australasia.
We need new genetic stock to
help the regional population stay
healthy, Ms Baker said.
But the process was likely to
take at least a couple of years.
Because of New Zealand s strict
biosecurity laws, there was no
regulation allowing the zoo to
import a giraffe from anywhere
other than Australia.
Once the authorities granted
permission, an American giraffe
species co-ordinator would give
breeding recommendations for the
parents of the calves to be
The cost of each giraffe could
reach $100,000, which would
cover the permits required and
shipping costs, Ms Baker said.
The main component of the
costs is shipping, because of the
height of giraffes. So we have to
get them before they are too old
and too tall.
At birth, a giraffe is about 1.8
metres tall, and it can grow to 6
The most recent giraffe the zoo
imported from overseas was Tisa,
which came from Melbourne in
1991. Seun came from Orana Park
Six-year-old Seun died after suf-
fering from laminitis in his hoof.
Although a toe was successfully
removed, he did not recover from
After Seun s death, Zahara and
Tisa were very hesitant Ms
The zoo stopped human encoun-
ters with the mother and daugh-
ter for several months.
Fire danger in
Wellington is heading into the high fire-risk
season after two months of high temperatures and
Wellington City Council s principal rural fire
officer Jock Darragh has suggested ways to keep
yourself and your neighbourhood safe:
Be sensible when using/lighting any fire.
Clear thick vegetation from around your home to
create a gap of at least 10 metres.
Don t stack firewood against your house or under
Clear your gutters of dead leaves.
Make sure you have a hose that reaches all parts
of your house/section.
If your neighbour s section is overgrown, and you
are concerned, offer to help clear their vegetation
if they can t.
Have an evacuation plan so you can get your
family safely out of your house.
Check your gas cylinders and hoses for leaks
before lighting your barbecue.
If you see smoke at any time, dial 111 and ask for
the Fire Service.
Lighting fires in the open is restricted all year
round. The exception to this rule is charcoal and
If you want to light a fire in the open you must
get a permit first.
Also, because of the danger of fires spreading,
lighting fires on beaches is banned except at
Houghton and Princess bays, but you still need a
If you are lighting a fire, make sure you have
something on hand capable of dousing it -- a fire
extinguisher, water bucket or fire blanket.
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