Giraffe travelling down road on truck hits head on bridge and dies
A giraffe that was being transported along a highway in an open truck was killed when its head smashed into a bridge.
Media quoted the owner as saying the animal had craned its neck before hitting the bridge in an incident similar to a scene from the movie The Hangover 3.
Witness Thinus Botha, 32, of Pretoria, said on Thursday that he had been following the vehicle transporting two giraffes down the highway. "Here's something you don't see every day," he thought as he pulled over to take a picture.
Just after he snapped the shot through his windshield, the vehicle drove under the bridge "and there was a big bang" as one of the giraffes hit its head. The thump was so loud, Botha heard it with his car windows rolled up. "Blood was coming from its nose and mouth," he said.
Earlier, the animals had been stranded alongside the highway when the vehicle broke down. "Getting stranded next to the highway wasn't their biggest problem of the day," said Botha.
South Africa's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the animal died of severe head trauma and it was investigating "with the view to possibly laying criminal charges".
The SPCA's Rick Allan said the animals had not been transported properly. They should have been covered by a "specially designed container that looks like a crate," he said.
As for the giraffe possibly craning its neck, Botha said the animal never lifted his head higher than it was when he took the picture, just before impact.
"It seems like he was bound to hit his head at some point."