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Benito, the lonely giraffe of Mexico, starts 50-hour journey to new home

Benito the giraffe, whose lonely life at a park on Mexico’s arid northern border inspired a campaign to relocate him, was en route on Monday to a new home at a safari park in the center of the country.

Since May the giraffe has been living at Central Park in Ciudad Juarez, where the city’s desert climate has been sending temperatures soaring in the summer and plummeting this winter, with a low of 9°C (48°F) forecast for Monday.

A crane lifted a large box containing the towering Benito onto a truck late on Sunday to begin the 50-hour road journey to his new home at Africam Safari, a park in the state of Puebla, about 150 km (93 miles) southeast of Mexico City.

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Veterinarians would monitor Benito during the trek, said Frank Camacho, Africam Safari’s director.

“It is important that Benito is in favorable conditions in an enclosure where he can be at a controlled temperature with all the food he needs,” Camacho said.

In addition to better weather conditions, Benito is expected to benefit from the company of seven other giraffes at his new home, Africam Safari said.

Benito’s move was a victory for activists, who argued that the park housing him in Juarez was not an adequate home for the majestic animal.

“The Save Benito movement is happy because today he is going to the city of Puebla and will be in a place worthy of a specimen of this magnitude,” said Ana Felix, a spokesperson for the group Save Benito.

TAGS: Mexico
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