The wife and young son of a British scientist are fighting for their lives in hospital after being viciously attacked by a giraffe at a wildlife reserve in South Africa.
Terrified Katy Williams, 35, and son Finn, 3, were left close to just 150 yards from their home on the Blyde Wildlife Estate near Hoedspruit after the terrifying encounter.
Husband Sam Williams was returning home from work and saw his US born wife and son under attack and was able to chase off the giraffe and save their lives.
The giraffe which had a two month old calf with it is believed to have attacked the young mum and her son because it felt under threat when they surprised her.
Williams and her son Finn had been waiting close to the family home for her husband to return from his evening trail run in the hills around the nature reserve.
It is believed Mr and Mrs Williams are both scientists who work on the game reserve and both are said to have extensive post PHD experience in animal related fields.
The attack happened on Monday at 6pm and UK born Sam called for emergency help and the Hoedspruit Medical Rescue team raced to the scene to try and help.
But they were both so badly hurt in such a life threatening condition they were transferred to a local airfield to await two helicopter air ambulances from Johannesburg.
Finn was the first to be airlifted by the ER24 to chopper to Busamed Modderfontein Hospital in Johannesburg and the mother then followed shortly in the second helicopter.
An operation was performed on Finn during the early hours of Tuesday morning to release pressure on his brain due to injuries sustained in the near deadly attack.
His mother was then operated on and both are said to be in a stable but critical condition.
The manager of Blyde Wildlife Estate Riaan Cilliers confirmed the incident and said: ‘We are all in shock about this very sad incident and we ensure the family that they are in our prayers’.
Mr Cilliers confirmed that the giraffe in question has a two-month-old calf, which may have had an influence on her behaviour and may have been surprised by the mother and son.
Both husband and wife are scientists with post PhD experience in animal-related fields.
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Source: Daily Mail