Maryland – This week, the Maryland Zoo announced the unexpected death of a reticulated giraffe named Willow. According to the zoo, Willow, born at the zoo in 2017, had recently been suffering from gastrointestinal issues that caused her to stop eating and her care providers observed a “significant” decline in her condition.
The zoo explained its decision to humanely euthanize her:
Willow’s care team noticed something was off when she didn’t eat her typical meals and showed other signs of illness. Since then, Zoo veterinarians and other team members have been working together, taking steps to treat the gastrointestinal issues Willow was experiencing. Last night, Willow’s condition significantly worsened, and after every effort was made to save her, the team made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.
Staff and visitors will miss Willow’s “goofy” personality. The zoo writes:
Since her birth, Willow has inspired joy and compassion in thousands of people. She grew from an awkward calf with ossicones that looked like pigtails to a beautiful icon of the Zoo and her vulnerable species. Her presence at the Giraffe Feeding Station, in particular, is something everyone will miss.
If you would like to send a message to the zoo, in memory of Willow, you can do so at this link.
(Image via Maryland Zoo)
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