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Want to get past? You're having a giraffe

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 16, 2013

  • High vehicle carrying Tonda the giraffe from Paignton Zoo to Chessington in Surrey. He's now settling in well

  • Tonda, right, meets one of his new housemates, Kismet, at Chessington World of Adventures, Surrey

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A 14ft (4.3m) tall giraffe has arrived at his new home after moving almost 200 miles from a zoo in Devon.

Tonda, a three-year-old adult male Rothschild's giraffe, was transported in a trailer with an adjustable roof from Paignton to Chessington Zoo in Surrey.

With two calves born at Paignton last year, Tonda has been moved on so the zoo can manage its growing herd.

"I'm sure he will take the move in his stride," curator of mammals and operations director Neil Bemment said.

"He may breed at Chessington in the future, but for the time being he will form a small bachelor group with two other young males."

Phil Knowling, zoo spokesman, said: "We didn't sedate him – because the last thing you want is a woozy giraffe in case he falls over – all we had to do was lure him into the trailer with some green food."

With fewer than 700 left in the wild, Rothschild's giraffes are on the "red" endangered list.

Following a four-hour journey, the young giraffe is understood to be settling in well at his new home.

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