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Two giraffes coming today

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Visitors to the Emperor Valley Zoo, Port-of-Spain, will have the opportunity to see T&T’s first pair of giraffes from around 9.30 am today says president of the Zoological Society Gupte Lutchmedial. The giraffes, which were initially scheduled to arrive in June, started a road trip from Houston, Texas, on Friday from their previous home at a nature park in Dallas. “We expect the giraffes to reach to Miami by tonight and they are scheduled to be on a flight by 3 am, which will be in T&T by 7.30 am,” Lutchmedial said.



Once at Piarco Airport, the giraffes will go through customs after being checked by a vet. Once released by customs the animals, which are approximately eight feet tall, will be taken to the zoo. The giraffes, which are about eight months old, will not be the only animals coming to T&T today but they have a pair of warthogs as travelling companions. 



“The public will be able to see the animals from about ten to 15 feet away. The plan is to get them in their own enclosure to allow members of the public to feed the animals and interact with them in other ways,” Lutchmedial said. The zoo was originally supposed to receive a male and a female giraffe, as part of a breeding programme but females are unavailable so it is accepting two males.


They will be put in a temporary enclosure for the next three weeks while the zoo finishes building its African exhibit, which will also include impalas, warthogs, a family of chimpanzees, a pair of zebras, mandrills and African cranes. The zebras are expected to arrive in the middle of next year and the zoo is also expecting to receive a pair of Bengal tigers for its Asian exhibit next month. Asked about plans for a zoo in Central Trinidad, Lutchmedial said those plans were not in the hands of the Zoological Society.


“When Cabinet made the recommendation, it was to upgrade the current zoo and build a zoo in central Trinidad but nothing has come of it,” he added. 


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