Will the Horrific Way This Giraffe Died Change the Way the Animals Are Transported?

One of the long-necked mammals died after hitting its head on a bridge in South Africa.

A Giraffe Dies Being Transported After Hitting Head on Bridge in South Africa

(Photo: John Greim/Getty Images)

Kristina Bravo is a Los Angeles–based writer. She is an Assistant Editor at TakePart.

Remember that cringeworthy giraffe scene from The Hangover Part III? It just happened in real life in South Africa.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confirmed Thursday that one of two giraffes being transported on a highway in Pretoria, South Africa, has died from head trauma. Witnesses posted images of the truck carrying the animals before the accident.

The BBC reports that the vehicle broke down—it’s not clear how—after the giraffe hit the bridge. It was several hours before it was repaired, and the animals were taken to a vet. NSPCA said one died by the time it arrived.

“All we can ascertain at this stage is severe head trauma,” NSPCA spokesperson Rick Allan told The Independent. “We are continuing our investigation with the view to possibly lay criminal charges against those responsible.” According to the website, Allan told eNews Channel Africa that the vehicle didn’t follow animal transportation codes set by the South African Bureau of Standards.

“When you are transporting giraffes on an open road, their heads should be covered by a structure which is a specially designed container that looks like a crate,” he said. Allan told the BBC that the vehicle was traveling to a game farm 99 miles outside Johannesburg.

Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world; males can reach up to 18 feet tall, while females can grow up to 14 feet. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation estimates that fewer than 80,000 giraffes exist, down from 140,000 in 1999.

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