Giraffe Killed After Hitting Head on Highway Overpass During Transport

What’s wrong with this picture? Taken by a motorist following the truck on a highway in South Africa, it was posted on Twitter. It clearly shows two giraffes being transported down a highway nearing an overpass that screams the fact those poor giraffes are too tall to make it through.

The pair was being transported to a game farm in Warmbarths, around 99 miles outside of Johannesburg. The incident went viral on Twitter with several people posting photos.

Pabi Moloi took the above photo and tweeted “Look how low that bridge is and how tall the giraffes are. Who thought this one through? I wish I hadn’t seen this.”

Thinus Botha posted a photo in Twitter saying when the giraffe hit his head “It was an incredibly loud noise” and “there was lots of blood.” Botha sold the photo he took of the two giraffes shortly before impact and can been seen here.

According to USA Today, Moloi said “The impact of the giraffe’s head on the bridge was so loud that my cousin, who was driving me, asked if someone had been shot, I saw the giraffe hit its head very hard on the concrete under the bridge and kind of be propelled forward.” In an eNCA interview, she saw “the giraffe’s head descend into the truck that it was in.”

It is believed the giraffe was killed instantly, which if determined by the scheduled necropsy, will be a blessing for the unfortunate animal. The truck carrying the pair broke down after the collision and was out of service for about three hours.

When the truck was repaired and the injured giraffe delivered to a veterinarian, the giraffe — who had been blindfolded prior to the accident — was declared dead. It’s not clear if the remaining giraffe was kept in the container for all three hours with the dead one.

Several witnesses also notified the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA), which is investigating the incident. Rick Allen, Animal Welfare Officer with NSPCA, said “It’s just so unnecessary” because it could have been avoided.  An NSPCA official said the responsible parties will most likely be prosecuted for this crime.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize driving adult giraffes who average 16–20 feet in height who are loaded into an open air trailer isn’t a safe way to transport these magnificent creatures on a highway which has overpasses. Who made this decision?

The fact that they were being transported to a game farm is another slap in the face, no pun intended, for the two giraffes. Many game farms are known to be used not just for guests to enjoy safari experiences, some also offer canned hunting.

In case you are not familiar with the term, canned hunting is when people pay very high prices — in the tens of thousands of dollars — for the opportunity to kill wildlife like lions, cheetahs and giraffes while the animal is placed in a small enclosure which guarantees a kill because the animal has no way to escape. Many hunters do not consider this hunting and are opposed to the practice.

According to the group Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH):

Few people realise that SA [South African] Conservation authorities have divested themselves of most responsibility for protecting our wildlife. Citing the Convention on Biodiversity, and NEMA, they’ll tell you that they are merely required to count numbers of different species. They’ll confess that they have no interest in, or mandate for, wildlife protection beyond maintaining species numbers. Animal welfare is outside their mandate, and anyway the Department has formally ceded all control over hunting methods to the very people who are killing our wildlife daily – the ‘recognised hunting associations’.

Let’s hope the NSPCA will formally bring charges for the needless killing of this innocent giraffe.

Photo credit: Pabi Moloi via Twitter


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

OMG - I am crying for all the pain this poor giraffe went though.

Virginia Abreu de Paula

Hoping something will be done also to put an end to this canned games.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

OMG reading this I got sick to my stomach and cried. I can't imagine the horror of following behind this moron and having to witness it. How can anyone be this stupid and uncaring. This never should have happened. Giraffes do not need to be transported any where. And what is the hold up for charging these idiots. With this, all hope for humanity is gone.

Michele B.
Michele B3 years ago

let me get this straight...MOST LIKELY BE PROSECUTED!!?? OMG, are you seriously friggin' kidding me!!?? Holy shit, at 53 I can see that should be charged, my 11 y/o son read this, and yes he is a straight A student and takes advance classes, but HE even said what is the problem and the hold up with prosecuting here? It is as obvious as the nose on the prosecutor's face that there should be no if's, and's or but's about it. He said let's put the driver on the back of a semi or a train, blindfold HIM, go under a overpass or a bridge and let him see how HE likes it and let's bet on HIS outcome!!!!

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Oh my.... Common sense is not that common... You don´t need a master´s degree to solve this problem....

Borg Drone
Past Member 3 years ago

Just signed a petition for this cause.

Luna starr
luna starr3 years ago

this is beyond deplorable

Bev M.
Bev M3 years ago

This should never have happened. How fast was the driver going....if he had just been inching along the bridge the poor giraffe might have still hit his head but it would have been with a lot less impact. Stupidity is unacceptable!!!
As for "canned hunting" I've heard of it before...what kind of sport is it when these poor animals are just sitting targets for rich hunters? I despise people who hunt animals for the joy of it....they are disgusting human beings.

Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ

Very sad and disgusting,thanks for sharing