Baby giraffe has died despite ‘Herculean efforts’ to save it, Maryland Zoo says

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Zoo says a young giraffe that has been struggling since birth has died.

Zoo CEO Don Hutchinson said Saturday it was hard for the staff to put their emotions into words after they worked diligently to try and nurse the calf into health.

“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,” Hutchinson said in a blog post.

Julius was born to first-time mother Kesi on June 15, but he was not able to learn to nurse effectively and had insufficient antibodies to protect him from disease.

To boost his immune system, he was given two transfusions of giraffe plasma, one from the Columbus Zoo in Ohio and another from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado.

Dr. Samantha Sander, an associate veterinarian at the zoo, says his condition took a sharp turn downward overnight, prompting a decision to euthanize the calf.