'Giraffe owner must be held accountable'

A giraffe hit its head on a bridge over the N1 highway while being transported on a truck.

A giraffe hit it's head on a bridge over the N1 highway while being transported on a truck. Picture: Twitter @PabiMoloi

JOHANNESBURG - Animal rights groups have added their voices to widespread outrage following the death of a giraffe that was being transported on the highway in Centurion, and have called for strong action to be taken against those responsible.

Two giraffe were being transported on the back of a truck on the N1 Highway on Thursday, but spent more than 8 hours in a small container on the side of the road when the vehicle broke down.

Activists for Animals Africa spokesperson Miranda Jordan says, "I think that there was obviously some sort of protocol that was not followed in the transporting of these animals because we now have one dead and one very traumatised animal. We must seek some sort of consequence here, both with the owner and driver."

The other giraffe has been examined and is in good health.

At the same time, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Tshwane says it's now considering whether to charge the owner of the two giraffe.

The animals spent the most part of the day on the back of the truck before SPCA officials arrived on the scene and assisted the driver in taking the animals to a place of safety.

Motorists traveling behind the truck say they saw one of the animals hitting its head when it drove under a bridge.

The SPCA's Rick Allan says they are investigating the claims.

"The likelihood of us pressing charges at this stage is very strong. We have now established who the owner is. We're just trying to establish where the animals were coming from and where they were going. It's important for us that we do get some eyewitness accounts."