MELBOURNE, Fla. – A young Masai giraffe died at the Brevard Zoo died last week from a parasitic infection, the zoo said Monday.

  • Young giraffe at Brevard Zoo died last week
  • T-Bone had a parasitic infection, the zoo said

Zoo staff noticed the nearly 1-year-old giraffe named T-Bone was lethargic and producing diarrhea. His blood and feces were tested and the results revealed he had high quantities of gastrointestinal worms and anemia, according to the zoo.

T-Bone was given medication and, although his condition seemed to have improved, he was found dead Thursday morning, according to the zoo.

"This is a significant loss for our Zoo and the community at large," zoo executive director Keith Winsten said in a statement. "T-Bone was an intelligent, curious giraffe who inspired hundreds of thousands of guests during his time with us."

Gastrointestinal worms are often found in giraffes both in human care and in the wild, just not in such high levels. The zoo said it is examining the way it monitors parasites to prevent something similar from happening in the future.

In honor of T-Bone, the zoo is encouraging people to donate to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.