Julius, the month-old giraffe at the Maryland Zoo, has died

Julius, the month-old giraffe at the Maryland Zoo, has died. (Maryland Zoo)

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - The Maryland Zoo's young giraffe, born just a month ago, has died.

Julius had "a very challenging start to life," and the zoo announced Saturday afternoon that Julius had passed away.

The giraffe has had round-the-clock care, and his first-time mother, Kesi, provided "wonderful maternal care," said the zoo in a statement.

Julius was born early in the morning on June 15, but was never "able to learn to nurse effectively" and zoo staff tried to teach him to bottle-feed.

The zoo will be performing a necropsy to determine "what put Julius at this health deficit from the beginning," said Dr. Samantha Sander, associate veterinarian at the zoo, in the statement.

"Sometimes there are underlying issues that are not able to be identified or solved by even the best science and skill. Julius' short life will help gain vast knowledge not only for us, but for other facilities as we all continue to face similar issues in our efforts to save and safeguard the species," she said.

The zoo has posted a memory wall where the public is welcome to leave comments.

He got two giraffe plasma transfusions from the Columbus and Cheyenne Mountain zoos to boost his immune system, and "multiple courses of antibiotics, IV fluids, and other intensive care in order to provide nutritional support and to stabilize his condition."

Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital also greatly contributed to the efforts to care for Julius.

"Despite intensive medical interventions, tube feeding and around the clock care, Julius remained a critical patient," said Sander.

"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."

Mike McClure, general curator at the zoo, said dozens have provided assistance and the zoo used every resource available.

"We are incredibly grateful to each and every one, including the exceptional assistance of the staff and giraffe herds at The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Without them, we would have run out of options far sooner," he said.

The zoo thanked "the thousands of people from around the world who have sent positive thoughts and prayers to Julius and the staff here at the zoo."

"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," the statement concluded.

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