After a four-day and 4,500-kilometre journey across Australia that any grey nomad would be envious of, Ellie the giraffe has finally arrived at Perth Zoo.
The 16-month-old, who left her home at Queensland's Australia Zoo on Monday, will now call the West Coast of Australia home as she, together with her new partner Armani, joins the "vitally important" Australasian Giraffe Breeding Program.
"The latest research out of Africa indicates there is less than 80,000 giraffe roaming the African Plains. This makes zoo breeding programs vitally important and why Ellie is such a special new addition to the Perth Zoo family," senior keeper Kaelene McKay said.
Last year, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the mammal as vulnerable to extinction after a dramatic drop in numbers saw populations dwindle from 155,000 in 1985 to 97,000 in 2015.
Ellie, who is a favourite of the keepers at Australia Zoo, was trained for months in the lead-up to the trip to ensure it ran as smoothly as possible.
"Any animal transport is meticulously planned, but when you're dealing with an animal as tall as a giraffe there's added complexities," McKay said.
"Although Ellie is young and still rather small for a giraffe we still had to map out a route with the transport company, Toll Group, to ensure we didn't have any low bridges or over passes.
"Having travelled through four Australian states we believe this is one of the biggest overland transports in the world for a giraffe."
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