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Euthanized Zoo Boise giraffe had torn shoulder muscle, couldn't stand

Zoo officials at Zoo Boise have a little more information after a necropsy was performed on the giraffe that was euthanized last week.

Steve Burns, the zoo director, says the necropsy revealed Julius Longfellow tore a muscle in his shoulder while trying to lie down on April 13.

Originally, zoo staff believed the giraffe could have been injured in a fall.

Either way, Burns says Julius was not able to stand up or even be put into a position where the shoulder could heal.

Burns emphasized the difficulty in making the decision to euthanize the giraffe and says it's something the entire staffing is still grieving about.

He says the zoo is continuing to work with other zoos around the country in a search for a replacement for Julius. He says it's important for social animals like giraffes to have companions, so they are hoping to get one for the zoo's remaining giraffe, Jabari, as soon as possible.

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