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Suspected attack follows another caught on film in 2013 when riders escaped

A cyclist found dead next to his bike on a game reserve in South Africa is believed to have been trampled to death by a giraffe, say local police.

Braam Boose’s body was found on Sunday in an area with a large population of giraffes by a group of walkers who were also staying at the Thaba Monate Lodge near Bela Bela in the Limpopo province.

The 45-year-old, who had gone out on his own for a bike ride on Sunday afternoon, had been on holiday on the game reserve with his family, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Colonel Ronel Otto of the South African Police Service, said: "It is suspected that he was killed by a giraffe. They look at the specific injuries that he had, it looks like he was basically trampled."

While giraffes, which are herbivores, are not generally aggressive towards people, they can be if they feel threatened.

Nevertheless, incidents of humans being killed by the creatures are rare.

A dog walker was killed, also in Limpopo province, in 2010, while an American tourist is thought to have been killed by one at a country club close to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in 2002.

There is at least one recorded instance caught on film of a giraffe behaving aggressively towards cyclists, shown in this YouTube video taken at Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2013.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

5 comments

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thatrokadude [10 posts] 2 years ago
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One does not simply ride your bike in a reserve filled with wild animals. Not the brightest idea, hey bru?

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CygnusX1 [449 posts] 2 years ago
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thatrokadude wrote:

One does not simply ride your bike in a reserve filled with wild animals. Not the brightest idea, hey bru?

I - and many other readers on here I'm sure - ride in nature reserves filled with wild animals all the time, although the animals in question are mainly waterfowl, squirrels and deer. There's always the risk of being goosed by a goose, or Tufty going for your nuts.

The reserve in question may have only had larger prey animals (giraffe, zebra, springbok) and no large predator (lions) so would be relatively safe as long as you maintain your distance, don't threaten the wildlife and back down if the warning signs are there.

The fact that a group of walkers found the body suggests it was considered safe enough to be on foot in the reserve.

Whether he deliberately tried to approach the giraffe, or stumbled across one we'll never know (unless he had a helmet-cam) but seems likely he then didn't read the giraffe's body language or reacted in a way that seemed more threatening and unfortunately the giraffe acted in its own self defence.

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usedtobefaster [197 posts] 2 years ago
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This has given me an idea - Strava segments through the lion and monkey enclosures at Longleat.

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vonhelmet [843 posts] 2 years ago
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usedtobefaster wrote:

This has given me an idea - Strava segments through the lion and monkey enclosures at Longleat.

A couple of years ago the Tour of Britain had a TT that started in Knowsley safari park. One of last year's stages started there as well, I think. A couple of tweaks to the route and Bob's your uncle. Andre "the gorilla" Greipel should be right at home.

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s_smith [24 posts] 2 years ago
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It seems no one likes mountain bikers not even giraffes.