The animals were imported by Safari World Plc, which operates a number of zoos in Thailand.
Yesterday (Jan 28), the convoy of 24 trucks with the animals in containers departed from Suvarnabhumi airport about 4pm. The destination was an animal breeding station near Rojana Industrial Estate in Mahaphot district of Prachin Buri.
One of the trucks, a six-wheeler, was carrying a container with three giraffes.
Monthon Mongphet, 53, the driver, said that about 5:30pm, as the truck was moving slowly along Highway 304 in Bang Khla district, he saw two giraffes, one about four metres tall and the other five-six metres tall, running off into the roadside bushes.
He stopped and found out the metal sliding door of the container was open. It had apparently not been properly locked, allowing the two giraffes to get out, Mr Monthon said.
About 6pm, people driving along Highway 304 spotted two giraffes in bushes near the Bang Khla intersection in tambon Samet Nua.
They reported it to national park and wildlife officials at the 2nd Forest Conservation Office in Chon Buri’s Si Racha district.
A team led by Phadet Laithong rushed to where the giraffes were seen.
They recaptured the four-metre giraffe with a tranquilising shot. There was no sign of the other giraffe.
About 2:30am this morning, Pin Kewkacha, executive chairman of Safari World, arrived at the spot to supervise the search.
Mr Pin said it was the first time something like this had occurred in the more than 30 years he had been in the business. He suspected the bolt on the door had been accidentally unlatched while the container was being transferred to the truck.
He was concerned the animal might stray onto the highway and be hit by a vehicle. Motorists could get hurt. Mr Pin was confident the animal would be recaptured.
He said the giraffes were imported from Africa.