Giraffe on the run after escaping from Thai truck

The runaway giraffe crossing a road in Bang Khla, Chachoengsao province, in Thailand. Rescuers caught the other long-necked escapee using a tranquilliser gun. The pair, imported from Africa, were headed for a breeding station run by Safari World, Tha
The runaway giraffe crossing a road in Bang Khla, Chachoengsao province, in Thailand. Rescuers caught the other long-necked escapee using a tranquilliser gun. The pair, imported from Africa, were headed for a breeding station run by Safari World, Thailand's biggest animal park, which describes itself as a "world of happiness".PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BANGKOK • A giraffe that bolted from a convoy destined for a Thai safari park was on the run yesterday, as vets scoured farmland near the escape zone in a search that had gripped the public.

Two leggy ruminants made the daring bid for freedom from the back of a poorly secured container truck as it slowed in highway traffic shortly after leaving Bangkok's main airport on Tuesday afternoon.

Rescuers caught one of the long-necked escapees using a tranquilliser gun. But the other made a dash for the scrubland away from the convoy of 26 trucks heading for a breeding station run by Safari World, Thailand's biggest animal park, which describes itself as a "world of happiness".

The four-year-old creature "disappeared into the darkness," volunteer firefighter Jongput Jira-apakul, who joined the hunt, told Agence France-Presse.

A spokesman for Safari World - which imported the giraffes from an unnamed African country - confirmed yesterday that the mammal was "still on the run".

The tall tale saw hundreds of thousands of Thais following Facebook live videos of journalists trailing the hunt for the runaway creature.

Safari World, a multimillion-dollar company, has in the past been criticised for training animals to perform for entertainment - including staging boxing matches with orangutans. Animal shows are common in Thai zoos, where tourists pay to have their pictures taken with tigers or watch elephants play football and perform tricks.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2020, with the headline 'Giraffe on the run after escaping from Thai truck'. Print Edition | Subscribe