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Giraffe on the run after escaping from truck

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: One of the giraffes that escaped a transfer truck on Tuesday - Chiang Rai Times

If you spot a giraffe, don’t panic. Two giraffes escaped from a truck this week and only one has been caught. The pair were being transported from Bangkok to a new zoo. A convoy of 24 trucks with animals in containers left Suvarnabhumi airport about 4pm, heading for an animal breeding facility in the central province of Prachin Buri, east of Bangkok.

When the truck stopped at an intersection, the giraffes jumped out and ran away, local media report. Their escape created a traffic jam, with some motorists honking their horns to scare the animals away.

The driver of the truck, 53 year old Monthon Mongphet, discovered the sliding door of the container was open. It had apparently not been properly locked, allowing the two giraffes to get out (or maybe the giraffes picked the lock… hmmmm).

One video on social media showed a giraffe galloping in the middle of a road, while another showed a giraffe in front of a bush with vehicles passing at dusk. The four year old creature “disappeared into the darkness” according to a volunteer firefighter. A spokesman for Safari World, which imported the giraffes, confirmed the animal is “still on the run.”

The tale has seen hundreds of thousands of Thais following live videos on Facebook of journalists on the hunt for the runaway creature.

The executive chairman of Safari World says it’s the first time something like this had occurred in his more than 30 years in the business. He suspects the bolt on the door accidentally became unlatched while the container was being transferred onto the truck.

Safari World has been criticised in the past for training animals to perform for entertainment, including staging boxing matches with orangutans.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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    Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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