- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Zoo has euthanized a beloved, hand-raised giraffe that had been struggling with age-related medical issues for months.

Officials at the Baltimore zoo say they euthanized 17-year-old Angel on Tuesday.

The zoo’s chief veterinarian says Angel has had leg and back pain for some time and that her keepers had been using creative therapies to help ease her pain, including ultrasounds, hoof trims and medication. But Angel’s symptoms recently worsened, and the vet says her quality of life was diminishing enough that her keepers made the difficult decision to euthanize her.

Angel is the last giraffe born at the zoo and was hand-raised by staff. Zoo officials say she was the center of its giraffe herd and that she helped three other female giraffes acclimate to their new home.

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