Giraffe will be kept safe despite violent attack on mother, son

The giraffe that attacked Dr Katy Williams and her 3-year-old son, Finn, at a wildlife estate in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, will be moved with her calf and will not be killed.

Katy's husband Dr Sam Williams returned from a trail run on the Blyde Wildlife Estate in Hoedspruit on Monday evening to find his wife and their son under attack from a giraffe that had recently given birth to a calf.

The attack happened 150m from the family's home, where Finn usually waits for Sam to return from his run. It is presumed that the giraffe attacked Katy and Finn as she viewed the two as a threat to her newborn calf.

The toddler and his mother were treated at the scene before being airlifted to Busamed Modderfontein Hospital in Johannesburg.

Both Katy and Sam have PhDs in biological anthropology at Durham University in the UK and have more than a decade of experience studying wild animals.

"We are very aware of how wild animals behave and how we should behave around them," Sam said via his lawyer Marina Botha.

'Long, hard road to recovery'

"We also realise with all the knowledge that anyone can have, wild animals remain unpredictable as this tragic event has once again shown."

He is thankful that the giraffe will remain safe as he has "no doubt that this is what Katy would want".

The little boy is still in a critical condition and the consequences of his traumatic brain injury are unknown. He is being kept under sedation.

Only once he has woken up will doctors be able to determine whether he has any signs of permanent damage to his brain.

Katy's operation was a success and she is being kept under sedation to allow her body to heal.

"I realise that even if things go well, we still have a long, hard road to recovery ahead of us, but I am hoping that we can one day go back to throwing rocks into the river together and have bedtime snuggles," Sam said.

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