April might be the most famous giraffe in the entire nation, but Julius Longfellow and I had a special bond.  I'm absolutely crushed by this new out of Zoo Boise.

When I moved to Boise and started running again, I thought I was starting to hallucinate about a mile into one of my runs down the Greenbelt. I was still pretty new and didn't know much about what animals were indigenous to the Treasure Valley, but I was pretty sure giraffes weren't on the list. But there Julius Longfellow was, starting at me as I ran past him. Did I really just see a giraffe in a Boise Park? It wasn't until I told the rest of the KISS squad about my encounter with a giraffe during my run that they told me that Zoo Boise was inside Julia Davis Park.  I felt like a big dummy...but seeing the giraffes peek their heads over the fence is a cool part of running the Greenbelt in Boise!

But sadly, there'll be one less head popping over the head when the Greenbelt reopens.  Zoo Boise's 11-year-old giraffe, Julius Longfellow, suffered a fall this morning and the zoo's efforts to get him to stand back up were unsuccessful.  They had to put him down.

Julius and I shared a home state.  Like me, he moved here from Ohio. According to KTVB, $32,000 in donations brought him to the Treasure Valley in 2008.

Julius leaves behind his friend, 7-year-old male giraffe Jabari.

...and because you're probably wondering, April still hasn't had her baby giraffe as of 5:06 p.m. on April 13th. I got punked by a photoshopped photo of a little giraffe in her enclosure.