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Zoo officials hope to purchase second giraffe

File photo Approval of a budget transfer at the Clovis city commission's meeting Thursday evening could pave the way for a male partner for Jael the giraffe at the Hillcrest Park Zoo.

City zoo officials hope a tall order can be finished in the next few weeks.

Staff at the Hillcrest Zoo have found a male giraffe after a year-long search, allowing for breeding with Jael, a female giraffe in her gestation period.

The Clovis city commission would need to approve a budget transfer of $15,500 during the city’s regular meeting, scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Thursday at the north annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library.

The giraffe is a proven breeder, and the hope is that three or four offspring could be produced with Jael, who has a companion but no mate.

“She has a friend right now; it’s Moses the Goat,” longtime zoo director Herschel Arnold said. “But he’s just a friend.”

Last year, Citizens Bank of Clovis pledged $15,000 to help defray the costs of landing a mate for Jael. Arnold doesn’t know where International Animal Exchange is getting the male giraffe, but he knows it’s a 10-year-old whose name begins with a J.

After applying the bank donation, the giraffe would cost $10,000, with an additional $5,500 in transportation expenses. The monies would be transferred from the zoo’s admission fund.

Arnold said he doesn’t expect a tough vote from the commission, and noted city staff has been excited about the find. He said the giraffe should arrive within a few weeks of the purchase agreement.

Other items on the meeting agenda include:

• A grant-loan agreement between the New Mexico Finance Authority and the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority. Of the $4.425 million in, $445,000 comes as a loan with a .25 percent interest rate over 20 years.

• Approval of a infrastructure and capital improvement plan. The plan outlines and prioritizes potential projects that could be funded through capital outlay through 2015.

• Approvals of a street closure for an Oct. 1 Clovis High School Freshman Academy homecoming parade and a noise variance for a family concert Oct. 30.

• Budget transfers for police and fire department scheduling software and legal counsel to assist in Tierra Realty’s redevelopment of Hotel Clovis.