Two dead giraffes were fatally hit by a lightning in a "billion-to-one" tragedy at a Florida wildlife park
The deadly incident happened May 3, killing 10-year-old female Lily and year-old male Jioni , according to Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, about 20 miles west of West Palm Beach. The facility, which had 20 giraffes before the incident, describes itself as an amusement park and drive-through safari
Lily was between 14 feet to 16 feet tall, while Jioni was between 10 feet and 12 feet, according to Lion Country Safari spokeswoman Haley Passeser. The giraffes were not related, the park says.
"Recent patology results confirm that the giraffes have passed as a result of the lightning and that the way of their passing was instantaneous," the park said Tuesday in a statement. ] There are "many shelters in the multiacre habitat, if they choose to use them." But, the park says, there is no way to force any of the giraffes to use them during a severe storm.
"It's like a billion-to-one chance this happened to us and our poor giraffes, but we are looking
No park staff has actually witnessed the fatal lighting strike. It is not clear if the animals were killed by two separate bolts or perhaps one that hit the ground near Lily and Jioni, who were found close together, according to Passeser
Giraffes tend to live between 20 to 25 years, Passeser said, though animal rights activists claim that massive mammals have much shorter lifespans in captivity
"The keepers and our whole team were understandably devastated by this sudden and tragic loss, out of respect for their mourning and pending pathology results, we "
" We continue to mourn our two incredibly beautiful and charismatic giraffes, they will be both sorely missed. "