Tennessee’s Memphis Zoo welcomes new baby giraffe named after NBA star Ja Morant

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Memphis Zoo recently welcomed a new baby giraffe – and named the rookie after a local NBA star.

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According to WHBQ-TV, the attraction announced Thursday that the seventh member of its reticulated giraffe herd, Ja Raffe, was born Nov. 10. The calf’s name is a tribute to the Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant, the NBA Rookie of the Year, the zoo wrote on its official blog.

Morant, 21, reacted to the news on Twitter.

“Welcome to the world ‘Ja’ Raffe,” he wrote, sharing the zoo’s video announcing the birth.

In a second tweet, he added: “‘Ja’ Raffe was born a legend!!”

The Grizzlies took to social media to give a shout-out to the new calf, as well.

Videos posted to the zoo’s Facebook page showed Ja Raffe, whose parents are Angela Kate and Niklas, on exhibit Thursday.

Baby Ja Raffe is on exhibit with mother Angela Kate.

Baby Ja Raffe is on exhibit with mother Angela Kate.

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Thursday, November 19, 2020
Baby Ja Raffe is meeting the rest of his herd.

Baby Ja Raffe is meeting the rest of his herd.

Posted by Memphis Zoo on Thursday, November 19, 2020

“This birth is also exciting because it will be the first time the calf’s sister, 18-month-old Ally, will be meeting a new baby,” the zoo wrote on its blog. “If you see the calf on exhibit, he will most likely be resting or you will see him coming and going from the barn.”

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