Dozens of children witnessed a giraffe being gored to death by an antelope at a Norwegian zoo on Easter Monday.
Melvin the giraffe had got his head stuck in a fence when he was attacked by an eland antelope walking in the same enclosure at Kristiansand zoo, around 200 miles south of Oslo.
Zoo vets rushed to the scene, but were unable to save the five-year-old giraffe, who died in front of shocked families.
Around 30 people witnessed the unprovoked attack at Dyreparken Kristiansand on Monday.
Melvin was a firm favourite among young visitors, having been named in a readers’ competition in a national newspaper when he was born at the zoo in 2010.
Witness Øivind Hansen, who was visiting the zoo with his family and photographed the event said even his 23-year-old daughter had come home crying after the incident.
“It was very traumatic. People were crying everywhere,” he told Verdens Gang.
Melvin had gotten his horns stuck in the enclosure’s fence when suddenly the eland, the second largest antelope in the world, suddenly attacked.
“He was panicking and tugged and tore to free himself, and then came a rather large animal with sharp horns and ran right into him,” Mr Hansen adds.
“It is incredibly sad,” Dyreparken’s chief executive told Dagbladet.no.
“He was alive when our veterinarian came to the scene, but died while he tried to save him.”
“Melvin was gored right near his lungs and heart, and the injuries were so serious that they killed him,” veterinarian Rolf Arne Ølberg, who was called to the scene, said.
Mr Ølberg added that the two animals have been walking in the same enclosure since Melvin’s birth in 2010 and has no idea why the antelope launched the deadly attack on the young giraffe.
(I want to address some of the hilariously misguided comments on this article. “Stupid to have the two species in the same pen together, absolutely stupid beyond belief.“ “Why were the different species of animals seemingly in a small area together? Most zoos keep different species in their own enclosures. This zoo needs to look at how other zoos are run properly.” No, just… no. Multi-species exhibits are a sign of a good zoo. They are far more educational, as they better demonstrate how these species coexist in the wild. I’m not saying this is a good zoo because I haven’t looked into it further, but multi-species exhibits are not a bad thing. They are awesome. I have no idea why this happened; to me it appears to be a freak accident. -C)