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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.