KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Bea, the 15-month old giraffe that was born at Zoo Knoxville, will soon leave her birthplace to take part in a species conservation effort.
According to a social media post on Tuesday from Zoo Knoxville, Bea will soon leave the zoo to join a new heard. She will move to another zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the recommendation of the Giraffe Species Survival plan.
The plan is a partnership of accredited zoos working to conserve the world’s tallest land mammal by supporting a healthy genetic population in North America to protect from extinction. Zoo Knoxville said giraffe populations have decreased by 40% during the last three decades and they are now locally extinct in seven African countries.
Giraffe have been reclassified as a species of “least concern” to “vulnerable to extinction.”
Bea was the first giraffe birth at Zoo Knoxville in 17 years. She was born in July 2019.
Zoo Knoxville announced in August 2019 the giraffe would be named Big Girl Two and called Bea. She was named by Natalie and Jim Haslam in a nod to Jim Haslam’s nickname for his wife, whom he affectionately calls “Big Girl.”
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