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Africa Alive! gives helping hand to zoo in Georgia devastated by flooding

Barbary sheep. Photo: Africa Alive

Barbary sheep. Photo: Africa Alive

Africa Alive

A popular Lowestoft wildlife attraction has given a helping hand to a European zoo devastated by floods nearly two years ago.

Barbary sheep being loaded. Photo: Africa AliveBarbary sheep being loaded. Photo: Africa Alive

Following significant flooding in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, in July 2015 the city’s zoo lost 280 animals and saw three workers killed.

However, after almost two years of intensive repair and restoration work, Tbilisi Zoo is thriving once more – thanks to help from around the world, including East Anglia with the Zoological Society of East Anglia giving a £2,000 donation to the emergency fund.

As a result, the city animal park is now home to approximately 80 new animals that have been donated by zoos from all around Europe, who came to the aid of the zoo in its hour of need.

Further help has come from Africa Alive! , at Kessingland, which has donated six Barbary sheep - a wild species of mountain ungulate native to rocky mountains in North Africa – to Tbilisi Zoo.

All six sheep had been born at the park and aged between one to three-years-old.

In order to meet the import health protocols required by the Georgian government, Africa Alive’s sister collection Banham Zoo assisted with the transfer and held the animals in their quarantine facility prior to their departure.

The Barbary sheep were inspected by the zoo’s veterinarian and staff carried out the necessary pre-transfer health testing requirements during the quarantine period.

The animals, which departed on April 1, were moved from Banham Zoo to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport by road and ferry before being transferred by plane to Tbilisi, arriving on April 3.

A spokesperson from The Zoological Society of East Anglia said: “This has been a real team effort and we are very pleased that both Africa Alive! and Banham Zoo have been able to contribute to the huge effort involved in helping the Tbilisi Zoo to once again, be in the position of playing an important role in helping to fulfil the city’s social, educational and recreational needs, as well as being active in the European zoo community and its associated conservation breeding programmes.”

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