Maryland Zoo’s baby giraffe Julius, has died just one month after being born – despite “Herculean” efforts by zookeepers and veterinarians to save him.
Julius had difficulty nursing, according to a statement released on the zoo’s website. The giraffe, born on June 15 to mother Kesi, died on July 15, exactly one month after his birthdate.
President and CEO of the Maryland Zoo, Don Hutchinson, said that the death of the young giraffe has made it “hard” to put “emotions into words.”
“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,” he said.
The zoo had been posting updates of the giraffe’s progress, and posted a photo yesterday with the caption, “Julius is 4 weeks old & still fighting. Read the #TeamJulius.” The zoo later posted an update stating that Julius’s condition had turned from “critical to dire” and had a “dim” outlook. A life support central line had been placed into him.
Maryland Zoo staff supplemented Julius with special milk formula within 24-hours of his birth and attempted to teach him to feed via bottle, according to the statement.
The giraffe was also given two transfusions of giraffe plasma from the Columbus and Cheyenne Mountain zoos, as well as multiple courses of antibiotics, IV fluids, and other intensive care, in order to boost his immune system.