A baby giraffe who stole the hearts of Rolling Hills Zoo’s guests two and a half years ago, is now a full-fledged “teenager”, and ready to leave the proverbial “nest”. According to the zoo, JoJo is relocating.
After doing an in-depth search, Hemker Park & Zoo in Freeport, Minnesota, was determined by Rolling Hills Zoo staff to be the best new home for JoJo. There he will be joining Prince and Macario as part of the zoo’s bachelor herd.
Born November 27, 2016 at Rolling Hills Zoo, JoJo was the offspring of Zuri and Btuanya (BT), and through a naming contest was named JoJo following a public vote based on the names submitted by the elementary schools in Saline County.
Now, two years later, JoJo has started to display a common behavior called “necking”, a way that males determine hierarchies by using their necks as weapons against their opponent. For the safety of all concerned and before he reached his full height, it was determined that the time had come for JoJo to join a new herd. JoJo’s move is being planned for the week of May 13th, and guests are encouraged to say their good-byes and best wishes to JoJo prior to that date.
In preparation for the move, the hoofstock keepers have been working with JoJo to desensitize him to walking thru the loading chute. Once in the chute they are also able to weigh JoJo and work on other medical behaviors. Moving a giraffe is no simple task due to their height. A specially designed extra tall trailer will be used for transport to Freeport, MN. This crate will allow him to either lie down or stand up during transport.
With over 50 different species from around the globe, Hemker Park & Zoo was opened in 1977 by Mark & Joan Hemker. Now being operated by the Hemker’s children and grandchildren, Hemker Park & Zoo shares the wonder and importance of conservation and the critically important role of animals within our ecosystem. “We are excited to welcome JoJo to our facility,” shared Marcus Hemker, Animal Collection Manager. “He will be a wonderful addition.”