Julius’ Story

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EPISODE #37 – JULIUS’ STORY

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In June of this year, the Zoo welcomed its second giraffe calf in less than a few months. The excitement of Kesi’s first calf, however, was quickly replaced with concern as it was clear from the beginning that this giraffe newborn was in need of help. For four very intense weeks, the animal care and veterinary teams at the Maryland Zoo worked tirelessly to give Julius round-the-clock intensive care in an effort to see him through some very significant health hurdles. Tube feedings, bottle feedings, plasma transfusions, intravenous fluids and other medical procedures were just part of the effort which grew quickly to include giraffe experts and doctors both near and far from places like Columbus Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore. In the end, the exhaustive effort wasn’t able to help Julius overcome what, from the beginning, was a very serious set of circumstances. The knowledge gained during his brief but impactful life, however, now lives on to help other giraffe calfs both here and around the country who may face similar challenges in the future.

On this very special episode of Off Exhibit, Erin Cantwell, the Maryland Zoo’s Mammal Collection and Conservation Manager, shares the behind-the-scenes story of Julius’ birth, his health concerns and all that happened inside the Giraffe House during those very intense weeks. Plus, learn more about the procedures, the decisions and the effort that went into his critical care and how other Zoo animals receive the same level of care year round. The Zoo team was overwhelmed by the outpouring of concern and support for Julius, Kesi and the care professionals working on their behalf. If you followed Julius’ birth and updates on social media this will be a podcast you won’t want to miss.

Many followers have reached out to ask how they can help following the loss of Julius. If you’d like to support the Zoo’s animal care, the best way is through a donation. The Maryland Zoo is a nonprofit organization that relies on visits, memberships and generous gifts from friends like you to help fund animal care, education programs and wildlife conservation efforts. To make a tax-deductible donation anytime, click here to give.

MORE ABOUT OFF EXHIBIT: a podcast featuring in-depth discussions with animal professionals and wildlife experts from behind-the-scenes at the Maryland Zoo. Subscribe via iTunes, Android or RSS. New episodes uploaded on Wednesdays.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast

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