The Maryland Zoo Giraffe House team has selected the name “Julius” for the Zoo’s newest giraffe calf, born on Thursday, June 15th. “The name means ‘youthful, downy-bearded,’ both of which he is,” commented Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager. “But for us, the name Julius is a strong name representing his bloodline with his father Caesar. We are certainly hoping this name gives him added strength as we continue to provide around-the-clock specialized care for him.”

Yesterday was a challenging day for Julius, and the teams caring for him. “Julius gained two more pounds and showed some promising progress taking more milk from the bottle, but general weakness and changes in his blood work caused concern for the team, which has lead to more intensive care,” continued Cantwell. “He has been a cooperative patient and has responded well to treatment for now, but we are still not out of the woods yet.”

This morning, Julius drank half a bottle (550 ml) of milk and his weight was up four additional pounds to 152 pounds, both of which are signs of gradual improvement.

“As many of us know from our own experiences, illnesses can be a rollercoaster of ups and downs, especially in very young patients,” said Cantwell. “The things that stick out in times like these is the support of our zoo colleagues around the country, in giving their time and expertise to us, as well as the exceptional care and treatment from our Zoo’s animal care staff, veterinarians and vet techs. I can’t say enough about how well our staff works together day in and day out to provide the best possible care for Julius and the rest of the giraffe herd.”

Julius will remain behind the scenes with his mother Kesi for the foreseeable future. The remainder of the herd, including almost 5-month-old Willow, can be seen at the Giraffe exhibit daily, weather permitting.

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