Giraffes die after four weeks on ship

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The Independent Online

Two giraffes in a consignment of animals from Africa have died after being turned back from Spain and spending more than a month at sea.

Two giraffes in a consignment of animals from Africa have died after being turned back from Spain and spending more than a month at sea.

The animals - three rhinos and 24 giraffes - were ordered from Global Wildlife Logistics in South Africa and set sail on 5 October, arriving in Spain two weeks later. Several European countries have safari parks and import African wildlife.

Spanish authorities refused to let the animals into the country because of concerns about a foot-and-mouth outbreak in South Africa. The animals were diverted to Malta and loaded on to another ship bound for home.

A spokesman for Global Wildlife Logistics said yesterday that seven days after leaving Malta the giraffes died. "They have been at sea far too long," he said. The animals were finding it hard adjusting to the different food the ship took on board in Malta. "We will hold the Spanish government responsible," he said. "We have taken on enormous costs to bring the animals back. The alternative was to throw them into the ocean."

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