Thursday, 13 May 2010

Mother Giraffe Kills Woman With Kick In Neck

A woman has died after being kicked by a giraffe while walking her dogs in a South African game reserve.

Merike Engelbrecht was out with her pets in the northeastern province of Limpopo when one of the dogs ran towards a herd of giraffes.

As she tried to retrieve the animal, the 25-year-old was kicked in the neck by one of the frightened giraffes.

The powerful blow killed her.

It is believed the animal felt threatened by the dogs and was trying to protect its calf which was nearby.

Ms Engelbrecht's brother Hannes Visser told the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld that his family had gone to the game farm together to celebrate his mother's 50th birthday and Mother's Day, which in South Africa was on Sunday.

The woman's relatives only realised what had happened when one of her German Shorthaired Pointers returned to the lodge with its lead still attached.

After searching the reserve, they found her body in a field.

Although giraffes are usually docile animals that live on leaves and do not hunt, their strong legs mean they are able to deliver crushing blows that can be fatal.

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