Testy giraffe attacks cyclist and his bike

2013-09-04 00:00

A GIRAFFE chased a mountain biker several times around a bush and then trampled his bicycle at the Groenkloof nature reserve east of Pretoria.

Louis-John Rex’s mountain bike, which cost R30 000, was completely mangled by the giraffe.

Rex and his friend Ryk van Niekerk were cycling through the nature reserve, where they are both members, on Sunday.

“We were pedalling up a steep incline when the animal suddenly appeared on the track in front of me. He had a mate with him, but that one disappeared into the bush. I waited for [the giraffe] to go away, but it kept coming closer.

“A giraffe is quite fast. It has long legs and in one step it is upon you. I just had time to jump off my bike — there was no time to cycle away,” Rex said yesterday.

While he put a bush between himself and the giraffe, the animal trampled his bike. Van Niekerk photographed the entire incident on his cellphone. The video, Only in Africa: Giraffe attacks cyclist, is on YouTube.

The giraffe later decided Rex’s bicycle was flat enough and moved a short distance away, but he was not yet finished with the cyclists.

“Just as I went to pick up my bike, it turned around and started to chase me — round and round the bush we went. It was obviously very irritated,” Rex said. He said it was not his first encounter with wildlife in the reserve.

Van Niekerk said the incident was initially very funny — until the giraffe started chasing them. “It is an enormous animal,” he said.

When the giraffe finally left them, Rex carried his mangled bike about three kilometres to his car.

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