16-month-old child trampled to death by giraffe at safari park; Mother critically injured

In a rare attack, a 16-month-old girl was trampled to death by a giraffe and critically injured her mother while they were visiting a South African wildlife park.

The horrific incident took place at Kuleni Game Park in Hluhluwe near the port city of Durban on Wednesday. The baby was with her 25-year-old mother when the towering animal became rude and crushed the child to death, leaving the mother badly injured, Kurz reported.

Police spokeswoman Nqobile Gwala told News 24 that the baby was taken to a doctor’s room after the tragic incident but died of his injuries. Her mother, who was also taken to hospital, is currently fighting for her life.

“The 25-year-old mother and her 16-month-old child were at Kuleni Farm in Hluhluwe when they were trampled by a giraffe. The child was taken to the nearest doctor’s office where he died and the mother was taken to the hospital for medical attention. She is reportedly in critical condition. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated,” Gwala told the outlet, adding that an investigation into the incident has been launched.

The News 24 report included an image of the scene where the child’s mother is carried to an ambulance by paramedics.

According to its website, Kuleni Game Park is a cattle ranch turned abode and features a range of eco-friendly, wooden-style cabins. Visitors to the park can take self-guided tours of the park’s trails and experience up-close encounters with animals, albeit within the limits of a few select rules.

“It is home to an abundance of wildlife and birds in a beautiful setting to relax and explore. The original park has now been combined with four neighboring properties to create a larger conservation area,” the website reads.

The park has not yet issued a statement on the tragic incident.

Giraffes, which can grow to 16 feet and weigh over a ton, may only become aggressive during their mating season if they sense their babies are in danger.

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