Two giraffes killed by 'billion-to-one' lightning strike at safari theme park
Two giraffes were killed by a ‘billion-to-one’ lighting strike at a safari theme park.
The ten-year-old female named Lily, and the year-old male, Jioni, died during the lightning storm on May 3 at Lion County Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida, which describes itself as an amusement park and drive-thru safari.
Haley Passeser, a spokeswoman for the park, said Tuesday in a statement: ‘It’s like a billion-to-one chance this happened to us and our poor giraffes, but we are looking at anything we can do to improve upon.’
Lion County Safari has ‘numerous shelters in the multi-acre habitat, if they choose to use them,’ according to the park – however they do not force the animals to shelter from storms.
The park said;: ‘Recent pathology results confirm that the giraffes did pass as a result of the lightning and that the manner of their passing was instantaneous.’
It is unclear if the Lily and Jioni were killed by two separate bolts or one lighting strike that hit the ground near the two giraffes.
No one at the park witnessed the deadly incident, NBC reported.
Passeser said the two giraffes were not related. Jioni was between 10 and 12 feet tall and Lily was between 14 and 16 feet, she said, adding that giraffes usually live at least 20 years naturally.
‘The keepers and our whole team were understandably devastated by this sudden and tragic loss; out of respect for their mourning and the pending pathology results, we waited to share this information,’ the park wrote in their statement, which came more than a month after Lily and Jioni died.
‘We continue to mourn our two incredibly lovely and charismatic giraffes; they will both be sorely missed.’
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