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Charges likely after giraffe probe

Pretoria - The NSPCA has completed its investigation into the death of a giraffe which struck its head on a bridge in N1 in Pretoria and is likely to lodge a criminal complaint against its owner on Wednesday.

The SPCA is also investigating the death of another giraffe in an incident it says is related.

Two giraffes being transported from the estate in an open box top. One of the animals died afer it hit its head against a bridge. Credit: TWITTER

Two giraffes were being transported on the N1 north in an open-top box from the Meyersdal Eco Estate last Thursday. Horrified motorists saw one giraffe strike its head as the vehicle passed beneath the Garstfontein Road bridge.

It has now transpired that another giraffe, also due to be transported, had died during the capture process.

The SPCA in Alberton confirmed the other giraffe’s death on Tuesday. It was apparently due to stress.

The other giraffe, which was not hurt, is reported to be well.

Rick Allen of the Tshwane SPCA, said they had spoken to witnesses, and those who sold the giraffe. They were consolidating their report and were expected to hand it over to the police on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, an illegal shipment of eight Sitatunga antelope, which arrived in South Africa by road and air from the Prague Zoo, Czech Republic, have been humanely euthanised, the NSPCA said on Tuesday.

It added that despite the restriction on the movement of any antelope species from Europe, the animals passed through three checkpoints without the required paperwork.

The NSPCA said the animals, which travelled via Frankfurt, Germany, arrived on August 1 and were destined for the Johannesburg Zoo and a private individual.

“This is a tragic incident and could have been avoided had the proper protocols been followed and decisive action taken by veterinarians in this country,” said NSPCA special investigations unit inspector Wendy Willson.

“All the animals were in various stages of dehydration and four had already collapsed. There were signs of facial injuries and haemorrhaging, as well as leg abrasions and hoof bruising, as a result of these animals trying to reach their water bowls…”

She said the animals were hugely stressed and it was “very disturbing” to see blood spatters in the crates. When the crates were opened, the water bowls in some of them were incorrectly placed so the animals were without water, Willson said.

Bringing the antelope species into country posed a disease threat to South Africa’s ecosystems and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department would not allow the antelope to go to their destinations.

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