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Maryland Zoo's baby giraffe Julius humanely euthanized due to worsening condition

Julius the baby giraffe had to be euthanized at the Maryland Zoo. (Photo, Maryland Zoo)

The Maryland Zoo announced Saturday that Julius, their baby giraffe, is dead after being humanly euthanized.

“It’s hard to put our emotions into words right now,” Don Hutchinson, president and CEO of the Zoo said in a press release. “Our veterinary staff and our animal care team put their lives on hold to try and nurse Julius back to health, and every avenue was explored. Sadly, he was unable to survive in spite of their Herculean efforts.”

Julius was born to new mother giraffe Kesi on June 15 but started having health concerns. The zoo said that Julius never learned to nurse properly regardless of all the care he was provided.

Julius was given two transfusions of giraffe plasma, IV fluids and antibiotics. He was also given a special formula and zoo staff tired to teach him to drink from a bottle.

“Despite intensive medical interventions, tube feeding and around the clock care, Julius remained a critical patient,” said Dr. Samantha Sander, associate veterinarian at the Zoo. “His condition took a sharp turn downward overnight, and we had to make the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him. This is certainly not the outcome we were hoping for, but we rest assured that we did everything we possibly could medically to prevent him from any distress.”

Officials say they are doing a necropsy to see what started causing Julius's health problems.

“We would like to thank the thousands of people from around the world who have sent positive thoughts and prayers to Julius and the staff here at the Zoo,” said Hutchinson. “The outpouring of support has indeed bolstered everyone at the Zoo, and most especially the people who have been working directly with Julius and the rest of the giraffe herd through this very trying time.”

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