A six-year-old giraffe named Willow has died at the Maryland Zoo, the zoo announced via social media on Tuesday afternoon. The giraffe, born at the zoo in 2017, had shown signs of illness for several days. Full statement by the Maryland Zoo below:
“It is difficult to put into words the impact Willow the giraffe has had since she was born here in 2017. If you’ve followed us for a while, you know. Our Zoo family is truly broken as we share with you that Willow has passed on. Several days ago, 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.
This is a tremendous loss and we know our members, guests, and friends feel it too. 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. We could go on about Willow’s goofy personality and many life milestones and know those topics will be in conversations today in our barns and your homes. We know you understand how special Willow was and the significance of her loss. Thank you in advance for joining us in mourning.”