In a rare attack, a giraffe trampled a 16-month-old girl and seriously injured her mother while they were visiting a South African game reserve.
The horrific incident took place on Wednesday at the Kuleni Game Park in Hluhluwe near the port city of Durban. The baby was with her 25-year-old mother when the towering animal went rough and crushed the child, leaving the mother critically injured, Shortly reported.
Police spokeswoman Nqobile Gwala told News 24 that the baby was rushed to a doctor’s room after the tragic incident, but she died of her injuries. Her mother, who was also taken to a hospital, is currently fighting for her life.
The 25-year-old mother and her 16-month-old child were at Kuleni Farm in Hluhluwe when they were trampled by a giraffe. The child was taken to the nearest doctor’s room where she died and the mother was rushed to hospital for medical treatment. She is reportedly in critical condition. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated,” Gwala told the outlet, adding that a probe has been launched into the incident.
The News 24 report included an image of the scene where the child’s mother is taken to an ambulance by paramedics.
According to the website, Kuleni Game Park is a cattle ranch that has been converted into an accommodation center with a number of eco-friendly, wooden huts. Visitors to the park are free to take self-guided tours of the park’s trails and experience close encounters with animals, albeit within the confines of a few select rules.
“It is home to an abundance of wildlife and birdlife in a beautiful setting to relax and explore. The original park has now been combined with four adjacent properties to create a larger nature reserve,” the website states.
The park has not yet issued a statement about the tragic incident.
Giraffes, which can grow up to 16 feet tall and weigh more than a ton, can only become aggressive during their mating season if they sense their babies are in danger.