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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.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.