Julius the baby calf had struggled with health issues since birth. He had a whole network of #TeamJulius supporters rooting for him on social media.
He spent just one month on this Earth and he never spoke a word, but his struggle touched a nerve — and melted a lot of hearts.
On Sunday, condolences continued to pour in for Julius, a baby giraffe at the Maryland Zoo who was euthanized a day earlier. Julius, who was born June 15, was never able to nurse effectively and contended with health problems throughout his short life. The zoo’s updates on the giraffe’s health through a daily blog and under #TeamJulius on social media captivated many.
“Despite intensive medical interventions, tube feeding and around the clock care, Julius remained a critical patient,” Dr. Samantha Sander, associate veterinarian at the zoo, said in a statement. “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.”
Nearly 9,000 people offered words of sympathy on the zoo’s Facebook page, and the zoo set up an online memory wall that attracted hundreds more. Many commended the efforts of the zoo’s staff who fed Julius special formula, tried to teach him to bottle feed and gave him transfusions of a giraffe plasma from the Columbus and Cheyenne Mountain zoos.
“So sorry to hear about Julius. He has brought many together in ways not thought possible. My heart goes out to team Julius, and I cannot imagine your grief,” read one of the messages on the…