Animal caretakers at the Maryland Zoo in Balitmore are mourning the loss of Anuli, an 8-year-old reticulated giraffe who unexpectedly died on Wednesday night.
"We are stunned by this sudden loss," Kirby Fowler, president and CEO of the Maryland Zoo, said in a statement. "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."
Anuli had been undergoing treatment since October for episodes of abdominal distension in her rumen, the first compartment in her stomach, according to the zoo.
"We were able to diagnose this condition with voluntary ultrasound training, as well as monitor her health with voluntary blood draws," Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation and research, said. "She had been under treatment with dietary modifications, and medical treatments and we had been able to manage her quite well in the past few months."
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"However, the condition is not fully treatable, and we believe that it played a role in her sudden death," Bronson continued.
A staffer noticed that something was wrong with Anuli when they found the animal "trying to lie down awkwardly" on Wednesday.
"We quickly mobilized our team and came back to the Zoo," Erin Grimm, mammal collection and conservation manager at the zoo, said in a statement. "Although we arrived in less than 20 minutes, sadly she had already passed."
"We are devastated and will miss her greatly," Grimm added.
Anuli was one of Maryland Zoo's four remaining reticulated giraffes after the 2017 deaths of Juma and Julius.
This is the second reported giraffe death at a zoo in the pat week.
On Monday, Hasina — a 12-year-old Masai giraffe at the Los Angeles Zoo in California — died after giving birth to a stillborn calf.
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