Second giraffe dies at Baltimore zoo

Thursday, 30 November 2017, 03:44:21 AM. The Maryland Zoo announced the death of five-year-old giraffe Juma.

A 5-year-old giraffe named Juma died overnight at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore—the second giraffe death there this year.

“This has been a year of ups and downs with our giraffe herd,” said Don Hutchinson, president and CEO of the zoo.

A calf named Julius was euthanized at the zoo in July after staff determined he was not improving from health problems he had since birth. A necropsy later found lesions on the left side of his brain, causing nerve damage that crippled his tongue and prevented him from suckling .

“We are feeling the loss of Juma deeply while knowing that the staff has put their best efforts into caring for her during the past many weeks. She will be greatly missed,” Hutchinson said.

Juma died of an unknown illness. She began experiencing gastro-intestinal episodes earlier this year and was being treated by veterinary staff with antibiotics, probiotics, and anti-inflammatory medications, zoo officials said.

“We were able to treat her intensively and get her gastrointestinal tract moving during both episodes, but she was unable to gain weight after the second bout,” Dr. Ellen Bronson, the zoo’s director of animal health, conservation and research, said in a statement.

“The Giraffe House team did an amazing job supporting her and encouraging her to consume the grain and hay that made up her primary diet, as well as the browse and produce that were her favorites, and special food items for weight gain,” Bronson said. “However, she never regained condition and continued to lose weight despite their best efforts.”

The short life of Julius, Baltimore zoo's giraffe, yields lessons that could help others Tim Prudente

The giraffe was born at sunrise in June, deep in Druid Hill Park, and appeared hooves first. Doe-eyed and tawny, he looked around with his head tilted to one side, like a curious puppy.

It was an endearing posture that won the calf, named Julius, admirers far beyond the Baltimore zoo.

It was also...

The giraffe was born at sunrise in June, deep in Druid Hill Park, and appeared hooves first. Doe-eyed and tawny, he looked around with his head tilted to one side, like a curious puppy.

It was an endearing posture that won the calf, named Julius, admirers far beyond the Baltimore zoo.

It was also...

(Tim Prudente)

The team also tried to provide calcium and other nutritional supplements to treat abnormalities detected on Juma’s recent blood samples.

Bronson said the zoo consulted with other veterinarians and nutritionists around the country, and tried extensive treatment regimens but were not able to improve her condition.

A necropsy will be conducted but it will take several weeks to receive the results, zoo officials said.

Juma leaves behind her 9-month-old female calf Willow, who zoo officials said had been weaned from Juma for several months and had integrated into the giraffe herd.

“She may initially notice that Juma isn’t there, however she will continue to be with ‘aunties’ Anuli and Kesi and we don’t expect there to be any issues within the herd structure as time passes,” Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager, said in a statement.

The global giraffe population has declined nearly 40 percent in the past 30 years, prompting the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to place them on the “red list” of threatened and endangered species worldwide.The organization counted as many as 163,500 giraffes in 1985. Fewer than 98,000 giraffes survive today.

About 550 giraffes live in captivity, and the Baltimore zoo now has just four of them.

The Maryland Zoo welcomes a baby giraffe

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced the birth of a female reticulated giraffe calf. Born on Monday, February 6, 2017, to four-year-old Juma (joo-ma) and eleven-year-old Caesar, this new calf is the first giraffe to be born at the Zoo in over 20 years.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced the birth of a female reticulated giraffe calf. Born on Monday, February 6, 2017, to four-year-old Juma (joo-ma) and eleven-year-old Caesar, this new calf is the first giraffe to be born at the Zoo in over 20 years.

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