We carried Kitoto the giraffe across Australia to her new home at Perth Zoo

From parcels and precious artwork to petrochemicals and perishable foods, there’s not much that we can’t move – and a full-grown giraffe is no exception.

It’s not unusual to see a Toll bike courier cycling through city streets to deliver a parcel, or a Toll ship loaded with containers leaving a port – but have you ever seen a Toll prime mover towing a five metre tall transport container, with a curious giraffe peering out the back?

Last week we took six year old Kitoto (pictured above) from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo across Australia to her new home at Perth Zoo in Western Australia – a 4,200 kilometre trip that took more than 50 hours to complete – to meet her new mate, Armani.

Kitoto is no stranger to travelling by road; in 2012 she took a 400km overnight trip from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo as part of the Australasian Giraffe Breeding Program.

But this journey through the heart of Australia was a far longer haul – the truck carrying Kitoto, accompanied by a convoy of zoo personnel and Toll pilot vehicles, travelled through metropolitan Sydney and across three states before arriving in Perth and making its way to the zoo.

Live animal transport is complex by its very nature, but there are specific considerations that come into play when moving a giraffe – at 4.5 metres tall, Kitoto’s height prevents her from passing beneath low clearance bridges and overpasses, so careful route planning was essential.

Mick Harvey, one of two Toll drivers responsible for bringing Kitoto across to Perth, acknowledged that this was a special project right from the start.

“Moving animals is a challenge in itself, but a transport crate the size of Kitoto’s loaded on a trailer – that’s a whole new ball game,” said Mick.

“Everything from local traffic conditions in Sydney – and Perth, at the other end – to making sure the loaded truck would pass easily beneath any overpasses or bridges, low lying trees and having power lines lifted needs to be taken into consideration.

“It was, like all our over dimensional moves, one that required careful planning – but compared to other projects, this one was fairly special”

While transporting a giraffe was a first for Toll, we are experienced in live animal logistics – from pet relocation services to specialised transport for fairy penguins, we have the expertise to provide safe transportation for animals great and small.

With wild giraffe numbers across the African continent continuing to fall, collaboration between Australian zoos and initiatives such as the Australasian Giraffe Breeding Program are becoming increasingly important to assist global conservation efforts.


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