Giraffe kills 16-month-old toddler and critically injures mom at game park

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By stefan armitage

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A baby girl has been killed and her mother critically injured after they visited a conservancy in South Africa.

As reported by BBC News, the mother and daughter lived at the luxury Kuleni Game Park in KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. The large game park has 14 lodges, with its website boasting "individually styled, eco-sensitive, timber structured lodges that offer absolute luxury in the bush." South African outlet IOL News reports that the mother

The tragic incident reportedly occurred on Wednesday afternoon, with local police telling the BBC that the full details are currently unknown and that an inquest had been opened in order to establish the facts.

It is not known exactly where in the park the incident took place.

Police Lieutenant Nqobile Madlala told BBC News: "The child was taken to the nearest doctor's room where she died."

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A giraffe and her calf. Credit: RooM the Agency / Alamy (Stock photo unrelated to this story)

Speaking to IOL News, Shawn Herbst from Netcare 911 said: "When a team of operational paramedics arrived on scene they found the mother in a critical condition.

"The mother was treated on scene, however due to the nature of the patient’s injuries and distance to an appropriate hospital, a decision was made to activate the Netcare 911 Helicopter Air Ambulance to fly the patient to a specialist facility."

Trustees of the Kuleni Game Park later said in a statement: "As the mother, a qualified guide, and her children walked past the herd, we assume that one of the giraffes attacked the older child, before turning on the mother and the younger child. We do not know what caused the giraffes to behave in such an unusual way."

Chairperson of the board of trustees Brian Ring added: "The trustees of Kuleni Game Park are devastated by the incident and the trauma the family is going through. These are residents of our park and a much-loved part of the extended Kuleni family, and we are still reeling from the shock of what has happened."

Ring added that there had not been an incident in the park's over 20-year history, before going on to offer thanks and gratitude to the first responders and paramedics, and the Hluhluwe community.

Trustees have also responded to allegations that the giraffe involved in the incident was put down, saying: "The giraffes, including the mother and calf, moved off into the surrounding bush, unharmed."

The Kuleni Game Park is located 10 miles outside of Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal, with its website also claiming to offer guests "close encounters with animals while walking or cycling the numerous trails."

Per PEOPLE, the site adds that guests may wander freely around the park, excluding areas marked with a "no entry" sign.

BBC News adds that it is rare for giraffes - the world's tallest mammal - to attack people, with many game lodges across the world offering up-close experiences with the animals.

Although the animals are not usually aggressive, they can become combative when defending they calf.

Our thoughts are with everybody affected by this tragedy at this time.

Featured image credit: RooM the Agency / Alamy

Giraffe kills 16-month-old toddler and critically injures mom at game park

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

A baby girl has been killed and her mother critically injured after they visited a conservancy in South Africa.

As reported by BBC News, the mother and daughter lived at the luxury Kuleni Game Park in KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. The large game park has 14 lodges, with its website boasting "individually styled, eco-sensitive, timber structured lodges that offer absolute luxury in the bush." South African outlet IOL News reports that the mother

The tragic incident reportedly occurred on Wednesday afternoon, with local police telling the BBC that the full details are currently unknown and that an inquest had been opened in order to establish the facts.

It is not known exactly where in the park the incident took place.

Police Lieutenant Nqobile Madlala told BBC News: "The child was taken to the nearest doctor's room where she died."

size-large wp-image-1263174255
A giraffe and her calf. Credit: RooM the Agency / Alamy (Stock photo unrelated to this story)

Speaking to IOL News, Shawn Herbst from Netcare 911 said: "When a team of operational paramedics arrived on scene they found the mother in a critical condition.

"The mother was treated on scene, however due to the nature of the patient’s injuries and distance to an appropriate hospital, a decision was made to activate the Netcare 911 Helicopter Air Ambulance to fly the patient to a specialist facility."

Trustees of the Kuleni Game Park later said in a statement: "As the mother, a qualified guide, and her children walked past the herd, we assume that one of the giraffes attacked the older child, before turning on the mother and the younger child. We do not know what caused the giraffes to behave in such an unusual way."

Chairperson of the board of trustees Brian Ring added: "The trustees of Kuleni Game Park are devastated by the incident and the trauma the family is going through. These are residents of our park and a much-loved part of the extended Kuleni family, and we are still reeling from the shock of what has happened."

Ring added that there had not been an incident in the park's over 20-year history, before going on to offer thanks and gratitude to the first responders and paramedics, and the Hluhluwe community.

Trustees have also responded to allegations that the giraffe involved in the incident was put down, saying: "The giraffes, including the mother and calf, moved off into the surrounding bush, unharmed."

The Kuleni Game Park is located 10 miles outside of Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal, with its website also claiming to offer guests "close encounters with animals while walking or cycling the numerous trails."

Per PEOPLE, the site adds that guests may wander freely around the park, excluding areas marked with a "no entry" sign.

BBC News adds that it is rare for giraffes - the world's tallest mammal - to attack people, with many game lodges across the world offering up-close experiences with the animals.

Although the animals are not usually aggressive, they can become combative when defending they calf.

Our thoughts are with everybody affected by this tragedy at this time.

Featured image credit: RooM the Agency / Alamy