Zookeepers in Baltimore are mourning the loss of a prized giraffe that died unexpectedly Thursday night.
“We are stunned by this sudden loss,” said Kirby Fowler, president & CEO of the Maryland Zoo. “Anuli was an integral part of the giraffe herd, and has been a favorite of staff and visitors alike since she arrived here in 2013.”
The 8-year-old giraffe had been undergoing treatment for a stomach disorder since October.
“Last night an animal care team member saw her trying to lie down awkwardly and knew something was wrong,” Zoo officials said in a news release. “We quickly mobilized our team and came back to the Zoo. Although we arrived in less than 20 minutes, sadly she had already passed. We are devastated and will miss her greatly.”
Anuli received dietary modifications and medical treatments for her disorder, which affected her first stomach, known as the rumen. She was doing well the past few months.
“Not only were the veterinary and animal care teams closely monitoring her during the day in person, we were also observing her behavior via closed circuit cameras,” said Erin Grimm, mammal collection and conservation manager at the Zoo.
“The condition is not fully treatable and we believe that it played a role in her sudden death,” Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation and research, said.