Lightning strike kills two giraffes at Florida animal park

Lightning strike kills two giraffes at Florida animal park Photo: WPTV via NBC.

June 12, 2019 11:51 AM

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. (WPTV)  — A lightning strike is being blamed for the death of two giraffes at Florida's Lion Country Safari.

Park officials said on Tuesday tests show 1-year-old Jioni and 10-year-old Lily, a male and female giraffe, were killed by lightning.


The pair were found dead after a storm six weeks ago.   

"The whole team here was devastated and we're still in the mourning process weeks later," said Haley Passeser, a spokesperson for Lion Country Safari. "There were a lot of tears shed. Some of our keepers had to take some personal time off to process."

Passeser said Lion Country Safari has a lightning detection system, and when the storm rolled through, officials opened up the animal shelter area, which is standard protocol. But it's up to the animals themselves whether they want to seek shelter or stay out in the open.

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