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.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.