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Ja (Raffe) traded to Utah in planned move by Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo's star giraffe was transferred to a zoo in Utah as part of the giraffe's Species Protection Plan

MEMPHIS, Tenn — The Memphis Zoo announced Wednesday their star Reticulated Giraffe, Ja Raffe, has been transferred to Utah's Hogle Zoo

The move was months in the making, according to the Zoo, recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's (AZA) Species Protection Plan. 

Under the plan, Ja Raffe will be a breeding male for the herd in Utah. 

The AZA keeps Species Survival Plans for endangered and critically endangered animals. The plans manage the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

Since Ja was another male in the zoo's giraffe herd, he started displaying aggressiveness towards his father, Nicholas, getting into fights with him over the females in the herd, the zoo said. 

"There can be only one male in the herd," said a spokesperson for the Memphis Zoo. "The hope is, in Utah, he will be able to start a family of his own." 

Happy #WorldGiraffeDay! A day dedicated to celebrate the tallest animal on the longest day of the year!🦒 Here at Utah’s...

Posted by Utah's Hogle Zoo on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

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Ja Raffe left Memphis June 14 and arrived in Utah two days later, in pampered accommodations fit for a superstar of his status, according to the Memphis Zoo, and the Morant family was there to say goodbye.

RELATED: Memphis Zoo announces new President and CEO

No word yet on if the Utah Jazz will extend him a tryout offer. 

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