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

Back on January 18th of 2021, Raza was born at the Blank Park Zoo to parents Skye and Jakobi. 36-hours after his birth, he was determined to be six feet with a weight of 125 pounds! The name Raza, meaning "hope," was chosen by voters online.

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

"There are several important reasons for Raza to move now. First, in natural areas, a male giraffe typically leaves his mother at about this age. Second, it’s far less stressful on everyone to move a giraffe before it’s fully grown. Finally, fall or spring are the best seasons to move an animal based 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 will then be moved to a zoo near the West Coast via a trailer with a resizable roof. He will be missed by both zookeepers and zoo-goers alike!

On the bright side, Blank Park Zoo just welcomed another baby giraffe back last month! Bakari was born to Jakobi and Zola on on September 9th, weighing in at 107 pounds with a height of five foot five inches. Bakari means "hopeful and promising." You can check him out now in the Jamaa Kwa Africa Habitat.

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