After a necropsy (animal autopsy) and lab tests, doctors at Johns Hopkins have determined what killed Julius, the beloved giraffe calf at the Maryland Zoo.
Doctors determined that Julius had lesions on the left side of his brain. The lesions prevented Julius from eating successfully, gaining weight, and developing a healthy immune system, even with extensive around-the-clock efforts from the animal care and veterinary teams.
Many people loved Julius for his head tilt, but doctors say this was also a symptom of his brain abnormalities.
The Zoo said they can never definitively know what caused the initial lesion, but they are using the data collected to share and educate other Zoo professionals in the country.
If you are new to Julius’ story or wishing you could learn more, listen to the podcast episode featuring one of the Zoo team members who knew him best.