Motorists gape as bridge breaks giraffe’s head on N1

2014-08-01 00:00

A GIRAFFE bull died yesterday when a bridge hit his head as he was being transported backwards underneath it.

A second, shorter giraffe passed underneath the bridge unscathed.

Rick Allen, managing director of the SPCA in Tshwane, said the transporter’s permit was approved by the Gauteng department of nature conservation.

Thinus Botha (32) who travelled behind the truck transporting the giraffes on the N1 highway, took a photo of the animals moments before the Garsfontein bridge shattered the bull’s skull.

“I thought the heads looked cute and wanted to take a photo,” he said.

Just after Botha took the photo the giraffe seen on the left of the photo was hit.

“Its neck bounced down and snapped back. When I saw blood coming out of its nose I knew it was dead.”

He said the two animals’ mouths had been tied with something.

Other motorists who saw the bridge hit the giraffe hooted to draw the truck driver’s attention.

“So, I assume they knew the giraffe was dead.” He did not see if the truck managed to stop on the busy highway.

TV presenter and radio host Pabi Moloi tweeted “Look how low that bridge is and how tall the giraffes are. Who thought this one through? I wish I hadn’t seen this.”

The tweets quickly went viral yesterday, with the New York Times, the Daily Mirror, the Dutch NOS news channel and CNN picking up the story and requesting permission to use the various photos posted by people,

Allen confirmed the giraffe had died. He said the truck was on its way to a private nature reserve in Kameeldrift, north of Pretoria.

Alan said it was contrary to regulations to transport animals with their heads jutting out of the vehicle.

“Anything can go wrong like that. Their heads must be enclosed.”

SPCA officials are investigating the incident before the society decides on what steps to take said Allen.

Metro Police spokesperson superintendent Isaac Mahamba, said each bridge had a clear indication of how a load had to be in order to pass underneath.

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