Maryland Zoo announces death of giraffe calf Julius

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The Maryland Zoo announced the death of Julius, a giraffe calf, on Saturday.

Julius had been in ill health since birth. He was born on June 15 to first-time mother Kesi. The calf never took to nursing and received supplemental feedings from zoo handlers. Julius also had a weakened immune system, which zoo medical staff were unable to stabilize.

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Dr. Samantha Sander said the decision to humanely euthanize Julius was made after the calf's health took a "sharp turn downward" overnight, according to a news release from the zoo.

The zoo said a necropsy will be performed to help determine what caused the calf's poor health.