Just like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz once said, “There's no place like home.”
Tajiri the Giraffe captured the world by storm in the past two years, leaving fans sad to hear he'd be leaving by the end of the year.
The plan was to move Taj from Animal Adventure to a North Carolina park for breeding, but at the last minute, requirements weren't met, and he had to be kept in Harpursville.
Just like that, the construction of a new barn was underway.
"We knew we had literally days to pull things together and start the construction project. Initially we set a goal of 30 days to do the complete buildout, which I believe we did it in 31 days. Overnight, the giraffe barn was designed," said Jordan Patch, Animal Adventure owner.
Patch says the transfer went along smoothly.
In fact, the entire $175,000 project was funded by supporters around the globe.
"The efficiencies and work ethic of many teams, our contractors, our animal care team, heating, gas companies, you name it, came together to make this a possibility," said Patch.
As for the big move, Tajiri has been in his new home for about a week and is still adjusting, but Patch says that's all part of the process.
"Right now he's in a period of adjustment, perhaps a little cautious of what's around him, but we're trying to alleviate some of that stress and concern. He has barn mates in there, some bongo antelope keeping him company, and essentially we're developing his new routine," said Patch.
While Tajiri has some bongo antelopes keeping him company right now, he won't be the only giraffe in the barn for much longer.
“We are currently seeking female companions for Tajiri. We’ve preached the message of sustainable populations and captive management programs to educate and also lead to conservation and to keep Tajiri here, and not doing that would really make him being brought into this world a moot point," said Patch.
And more good news for his fans: a Tajiri live cam is coming soon.
Animal Adventure Park is open on weekends for the rest of December.