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A beloved animal from the Iowa Zoo is being relocated to the West Coast

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines is getting ready to say goodbye to Raza! According to social media, the almost 2-year-old giraffe will be moving to a new zoo next week.

On January 18, 2021, Raza was born at Blank Park Zoo to parents Skye and Jakobi. 36 hours after he was born, he was revealed to be 6’1″ and weigh 125 pounds! The name Raza, meaning ‘hope’, was chosen by voters online.

Raza is being moved at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Giraffe Species Survival Plan. Chief Animal Officer Jay Tetzloff said:

“There are several important reasons for Raza to move now. First, in natural areas, a male giraffe will usually leave his mother at around this age. Secondly, moving a giraffe before it is fully grown is far less stressful for everyone. Finally, fall or spring are the best times of year to move an animal depending on weather and temperature conditions.”

According to the Blank Park Zoo, Raza’s last day at the zoo will be next Tuesday October 25th. He is then taken to a zoo near the West Coast in a trailer with an adjustable roof. He will be missed by zoo keepers and zoo visitors alike!

On a positive note, Blank Park Zoo welcomed another baby giraffe last month! Born on September 9 to Jakobi and Zola, Bakari weighed 107 pounds and was 5 feet 5 inches tall. Bakari means “hopeful and promising”. You can now see it at the Jamaa Kwa Africa Habitat.

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