Two giraffes at Florida preserve died after being struck by lightning


  • Two Florida wildlife park giraffes were struck by lightning last month and were instantaneously killed in what is being described as a “billion-to-one” chance.
  • On May 3, a 10-year-old female giraffe named Lily and a year-old male named Jioni were fatally struck by lightning at the Lion Country Safari, an amusement park and drive-through safari about 20 miles west of West Palm Beach.
  • Haley Passeser, the park’s spokeswoman, said it is not yet determined if the giraffes were killed by a single lightning strike or by two separate ones, as there was no witness to the incident.

Two giraffes were fatally struck by lightning in a “billion-to-one” freak accident at a Florida wildlife park, according to an NBC News report Tuesday.

The two animals — 16-foot-tall Lily, a female, and a 12-foot-tall male named Jioni, were struck at Lion Country Safari about 20 miles west of West Palm Beach on May 3, park officials wrote in a Facebook post.

“We are deeply saddened to share the passing of two of our giraffes due to a lightning strike,” authorities said in the social media post. “Recent pathology results confirm that the giraffes did pass as a result of the lightning and that the manner of their passing was instantaneous.”

Though there were structures in the park that the animals can use to take cover during the storm, apparently, the giraffes didn’t use it, Lion Country Safari spokeswoman Haley Passeser told NBC News.

“It’s like a billion-to-one chance this happened to us and our poor giraffes, but we are looking at anything we can to improve upon” safeguards for the animals, Passeser added. It’s still unclear if the animals were hit by one bolt or by two separate ones, the spokeswoman said.

“We continue to mourn our two incredibly lovely and charismatic giraffe; they will both be sorely missed,” the park’s Facebook statement concludes.

Lily was 10 years old and Jioni was 1 year old. Lion Country Safari, an amusement park and drive-through safari had 20 giraffes before the tragic incident.


Source: New York Post

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