BANGKOK (AFP) - A giraffe that bolted from a convoy destined for a Thai safari park was on the run on Wednesday (Jan 29), as vets scoured farmland near the escape zone in an almost 24-hour search gripping 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 tranquiliser 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 that 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 AFP.
A spokesman for Safari World - which imported the giraffes from an unnamed African country - confirmed that the giraffe is "still on the run".
The tall tale has seen 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 orang utans.
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.