Nationwide Hire has helped Newquay Zoo to move two very large and very heavy wildebeest with the free hire of a huge telescopic forklift. A Manitou MT1030ST telehandler unloaded two female wildebeest called Libby and Dessi who made the 1,112-mile journey from Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic to take part in Newquay Zoo’s breeding programme. It is hoped that Libby and Dessi will mate with the male wildebeest already living at the Cornwall zoo, home to hundreds of animals from around the world.

Telehandlers are used to move heavy loads to and from places unreachable for a conventional forklift or crane. The animal crates were carefully lifted down from the lorry with ease and manoeuvred into the paddock using the Manitou telehandler.

Jonathan Holley, Managing Director at Nationwide Hire commented, “We were delighted to help out. This is an excellent example of the diverse type of job we do and because we can organise the hire of anything and everything I couldn’t resist helping the team out at Newquay’s Zoo to safely move this unusual and precious cargo.”

The black wildebeest, otherwise known as a white-tailed gnu, inhabit the South African seasonal plains and open woodlands which they migrate across, forming large ‘super herds’ with other species including zebra, elephants, antelope and gazelles. Wild herds of black wildebeest were nearly extinct a hundred years ago through over hunting. Now protected in game reserves in their native South Africa, zoos worldwide have contributed to the population. A registered conservation and education charity, Newquay Zoo, together with sister zoos, Living Coasts and Paignton Zoo, takes part in over 100 breeding programmes co-ordinated through the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA).

Newquay Zoo’s Head Keeper Dave Rich commented: “It is a very complex and careful procedure but everything went very smoothly. Black wildebeest are extremely heavy so we couldn’t have done it without the help and machinery supplied free of charge by of Nationwide Hire. They made sure we were able to lift the animals from the lorry with ease. It went really smoothly and quickly, which is exactly what we want from animal moves!”

Newquay Zoo is a member of the British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums, BIAZA, which represents its member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums. www.newquayzoo.org.uk/

Video: Newquay Zoo