2 giraffes killed by lightning at Florida wildlife park

National

WELLINGTON, Fla. (CBS12) — A lightning strike killed two beloved giraffes at Lion Country Safari.

The park said the incident happened during a storm in early May. A pathology report just confirmed lightning as the cause of death for the giraffes, named Lily and Jioni.

A spokesperson for Lion Country Safari said the giraffes did not suffer any trauma.

The two are remembered as being very charismatic who had a close relationship with staff members.

“It was absolutely heart-wrenching,” said Brian Dowling, the Wildlife Director. “There were so any tears around here. Everyone was absolutely devastated by it.”

A park spokesperson told CBS12 the wild animals are provided with large habitats to roam. During storms, the park opens areas where animals can seek shelter, but generally the animals like to be out in the open. Lion Country Safari said it does not like to force the animals into those areas if they’re not comfortable with the surroundings.

Lion Country Safari said Lily and Jioni will be sorely missed.

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