Tourist badly injured in giraffe attack on safari

Woman airlifted to hospital after giraffe attack at Zambia game park

Updated: 

Tourist badly injured in giraffe attack on safari

A US tourist has been seriously injured after an attack by a giraffe at a game park in Zambia over the weekend.

According to News24, Netcare 911 spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said the woman was walking in the bush between two lodges when the animal attacked.


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Mathe said: "It's thought the giraffe used its head to attack the woman.

"On Saturday morning the Netcare911 Jet Air Ambulance airlifted the woman from Zambia to a Johannesburg hospital for urgent treatment."

She said the tourist was critically injured and had been found lying in a thorn bush.

According to IOL.co.za, Mathe said it was the second time the particular giraffe had attacked a person, adding: "This is not the first we've flown to Zambia for the same sort of incident."

Giraffes are not generally aggressive animals but can become violent if they are startled.

Giraffefacts.org explains: "Like any wild creatures, they can be unpredictable and should be approached with caution. Their sheer size makes them a potential danger if they become uneasy. And since giraffes are known to be easily startled, it is important not to provoke them.

"If a giraffe feels that it is under threat, it may decide that it needs to defend itself. It can do this either with its legs or by pushing with its neck.

"The animal's high viewpoint means that they are generally able to see humans approaching from some distance away, though in less open terrain they can still be surprised."

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