KZN private game park disputes claims that giraffe involved in toddler’s death has been put down

Picture: AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

Picture: AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

Published Oct 21, 2022


Durban - The Kuleni Game Park has denied claims that the giraffe involved in a fatal attack this week has been put down.

Initially, it was reported that the giraffe was put down, however, the trustees of the Kuleni Game Park said the giraffe was still alive.

“Following the incident, the giraffes, including the mother and calf, moved off into the surrounding bush, unharmed,” the trustees said in a statement.

The statement said a private resident of the Hluhluwe establishment was walking with her two children on their property when they encountered a small herd of giraffes commonly seen in the area.

“As the mother, a qualified guide, and her children walked past the herd, we assume that one of the giraffes attacked the older child, before turning on the mother and the younger child. We do not know what caused the giraffes to behave in such an unusual way,” the statement read.

“The trustees of Kuleni Game Park are devastated by the incident and the trauma the family is going through. These are residents of our park and a much-loved part of the extended Kuleni family, and we are still reeling from the shock of what has happened,” added chairperson of the board of trustees of Kuleni Game Park, Brian Ring.

He said in the over 20 years since the park had been established, thousands of guests and owners have walked the park without incident.

“We would like to thank the broader Hluhluwe community and the first responders and paramedics from Richards Bay and Hluhluwe who did everything they could on the scene,” Ring said.

The cause of the incident is still being investigated.