Recently, there was a sighting that touched many hearts all over social media.
A ting on Latest Sightings came through of a giraffe that looked like it was stranded in the middle of the Olifants River in the Kruger National Park.
The first report came through on the 29th of Jan 2019, which was already day 2 for the giraffe being stuck.
Giraffe in the Olifants River
“She can’t leave the place. She has been there since yesterday”
H1-5, Olifants High level bridge
Near Olifants Camp
Tinged by Eduardo
Naturally, there was a lot of speculation as to what caused the sudden rush of water. Two main reasons according to the facebook page comment section, were, one - due to a dam wall in Mozambique being opened, letting all the water suddenly hit the Olifants river. However, the reason that is to be the actual one, is there was a lot of rain, causing the level of the water to rise pretty fast.
The Kruger National Park is a natural reserve, so even though there were lots of shouts to get human intervention in order to save the Giraffe, the policy is to let nature take its course.
As the level of the water lowered, there was no clear indication as to why the giraffe didn't just cross the water.
This was now on the day 5 - 1st of Feb:
Giraffe still stationary
H1-5, Olifants bridge
Tinged by Hannelie
Then, day 6 - 2nd of Feb:
Giraffe still in Olifants river
H1-5, Olifants bridge
Near Olifants camp
Tinged by Donnavan
It was a sad sight to see that on the 2nd of Feb, the giraffe was reported dead. Up until now, it was believed that the giraffe starved to death, Gareth Bright has the actual story for us:
"Earlier in the day we has seen the old male giraffe that was stranded on the island for the past few days. Our afternoon drive was pretty uneventful so we decided to head to the bridge to see what was going on with the Giraffe.
When we arrived, there was a 2nd male that had joined the older male on the island, and, at first, I thought the behaviour was playful, but realised very quickly it was not. The blows being made by the younger bull were incredibly loud, and each time he made the attack, the older bull retreated, or tried to back off.
This played out for around 20 minutes, then there was an almighty crack and the old bull dropped, he made several attempts to get back up, the other bull just watched, almost to make sure he was defeated.
During this, a crocodile came ashore and clamped down over the Giraffe.
The younger bull then crossed the water, between the island and the mainland with ease. It then stood and watched as the crocodile finished killing the giraffe.
We arrived there about 5:15pm, so the entire sighting to place with in a 45 minute period, as we had to get back to camp before the gates closed.
The next morning we went back and it appeared the neck and face were disfigured, I am assuming the presence of quite a few crocs, and that the water level kept the other predators and scavengers off the island.
This is nature, not a zoo! It is not for the faint-hearted
We felt excitement and sadness. I mean, I am well aware that nature is nature and this happens, but it's never great to see a big beautiful animal go down, that said, I was incredibly excited about the whole experience having never witness anything like this before.
At the sighting, it was me, my girlfriend and her parents who are from Australia and about 20 other onlookers.