Captive giraffe that escaped from zoo truck in Thailand found dead in pond 2 days later
A captive giraffe’s bid for freedom ended in tragedy.
Escaped from door came unlocked
The giraffe was being transported in one of 24 trucks loaded with captive animals on Jan. 28, 2020.
The animals were imported by Safari World Plc, which operates several zoos across Thailand, and had just arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The convoy was making its way to a breeding centre in Prachin Buri province, reported Bangkok Post.
However, two of the 68 giraffes, imported from Africa, escaped from a truck.
Photos on Twitter show one of the escapee giraffes making its way along the highway.
Another video showed one giraffe running along the road, as bewildered motorcyclists stopped in their tracks.
เราว่าตั้งใจชนนะคะ. ดูว่าตั้งใจบิดเข้าหายีราฟเลยอ่ะ pic.twitter.com/ZQfB0W9chC
— ก๊อตจิ (@w7foBG2EaPRw5iQ) January 30, 2020
The 53-year-old truck driver stated that he was moving slowly along the highway when he spotted a four metre-tall giraffe, and another five to six metres-tall, fleeing into the bushes.
After stopping the truck, the driver realised the sliding door of the container had not been latched properly.
The four metre-tall giraffe was subsequently captured on the same day using a tranquilliser, but the second giraffe remained on the loose.
On Jan. 29 the next day, executive chairman of Safari World, Pin Kewkacha, arrived at the scene to assist with the search operations.
Kewkacha said this was the first such incident to have occurred in the over 30 years he had been in the business.
Kewkacha also revealed his concerns about the animal straying onto the highway and getting hit by a vehicle, reported Bangkok Post.
The ensuing search involved drones and hang gliders, and captured the attention of many Thais on social media.
With some even doing up a missing poster for the escapee animal.
— The MATTER (@thematterco) January 29, 2020
Found dead in pond
Unfortunately, the second giraffe was found dead in a lotus pond two days later.
Photos and videos circulating online showed the body of the giraffe half submerged in the pond, with a group of onlookers observing nearby.
According to another Bangkok Post article, veterinarians would conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
— chumpon pornnuam (@chumponpornnuam) January 30, 2020
Tributes have since flooded the online space following the giraffe’s untimely death.
— 관마나🧸 (@kmnjsw_) January 30, 2020
กับข่าวร้ายวันนี้ หลับให้สบายนะเจ้ายีราฟน้อย และหากได้ตื่นขึ้นมาใหม่อีกครั้งในภพหน้า ขอให้เจ้าตื่นขึ้นมาพบกับทุ่งหญ้าอันกว้างใหญ่ไร้ขอบเขต ที่ๆ เต็มไปด้วยอิสรภาพ… #ยีราฟหลุด #ยีราฟตายแต่ควายรอด #ยีราฟตายแล้ว pic.twitter.com/lZPW6D4b0o
— CARE WORLD (@warapatcha) January 30, 2020
— 크림😻 (@creamgoesmeow_) January 30, 2020
Top photo from @Reg_TNAMCOT / Twitter and @chumponpornnuam / Twitter