City negotiating purchase of giraffe

Kevin Wilson

City officials say Jay the Giraffe is still a few weeks away.

City Purchasing Agent David Boswell said Tuesday he is still working on a contract that would bring the male giraffe to the Hillcrest Zoo, where city officials hope he can produce offspring with Jael, a female.

“We’re working on the contract with the people selling us the giraffe, making sure it’s insured,” Boswell said.

Under the contract, Boswell said, the group selling the giraffe would pay for the animal if anything happens during the trip, or if it dies within 20 days of its arrival at the zoo.

“That’s just to make sure there was nothing done in transit,” Boswell said.

The giraffe, previously owned by Disney, is with the International Animal Exchange in Ohio.

Transportation costs were quoted to the city at $5,500. Zoo Director Herschel Arnold said the price covers a guaranteed safe trip, and the city doesn’t have the specialized equipment for such a delivery any way.

Arnold said when the purchase is complete, there would be few stops in the approximate 1,400-mile trip to Clovis. The less time delivery takes, Arnold said, the less chance there is for something to go wrong.

“It’s a wild animal,” Arnold said. “It’s not a dog or a cat. They won’t even (stop for) fuel unless they have to.”