Giraffe Dies in Transit on South African Highway
A baby female Rothschild giraffe (
Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi
) stands tall-enough with her mother at Madrid Zoo. She was born April 16, 2014, after of 14 months of gestation. The Rothschild is an endangered sub-species of giraffe that's very difficult to spot in the wild anymore.
Baby giraffe made fast friends with a white dromedary (
-- or, what we civilians like to call a camel). The Rothschild giraffe is the tallest of giraffe species. It can stand up to 20 feet in height, and the average adult weighs between 1,500 and 2,500 pounds.
The camel seems to enjoy the company of the new girl on the block. It hasn't all been fun and games though. Giraffe cows give birth standing up, so a baby giraffe's welcome to the world is with a thud, as they fall from about 6 feet up.
The camel and the baby giraffe? Friends for life. The giraffe weighed 132 pounds and stood 5 and a half feet tall at birth.
The new baby isn't the only Rothschild youngin' at the Madrid Zoo. Here the baby girl takes in the scenery with another Rothschild junior. If you're wondering why the newest newbie is already up and around, that's because giraffe babies are fast learners: They're walking within about an hour of being born. This one will nurse for another nine to 11 months, though, so it's not a complete romp to maturity.
Johannesburg (AFP) - A young giraffe died Thursday from head injuries sustained while being transported, blindfolded, in an open truck along a South African highway, an animal welfare agency said.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)'s Rick Allan told AFP he suspected the giraffe died after hitting its head against an overhead bridge.
The SPCA has launched investigations and may lay criminal charges against those involved in transporting the animals.
"Two giraffes were being transported by road... one of the giraffes had an incident. We are not quite sure what happened, but we got unconfirmed reports that it hit its head on a bridge," he said.
A veterinarian had determined that the giraffe, which he described as young, "had died due to head injuries," he said. The second animal is alive and well, he added.
It was unclear where the animals were being moved from or where they were being taken to, or if they were wild or belonged to a zoo, he said.
The incident took place between the capital Pretoria and the commercial hub of Johannesburg.
"Our investigations so far showed that the transport used was inadequate and incorrect," said Allan.
"There are lots of projectiles flying around on the highway (and) especially leaving an animal with its heard sticking out blindfolded, is looking for problems."