Featuring stunning proof that life sometimes imitates Far Side cartoons, this short piece on unusual giraffe deaths takes us through all the ways a creature with a long neck and no hands can perish, and there are some doozies.

This one comes to us by way of Alexis Madrigal’s newsletter, Real Future. The post, courtesy of Tetrapod Zoology over at Scientific American, includes an image of a giraffe that died after wedging its head in a tree. On the one hand, this is very sad; on the other, it’s kind of gruesomely funny, in a black comedy kind of way.


Giraffes can be killed by small airplanes, should they happen to dash onto the runway during takeoff or landing. Occasionally one will drown while crossing a river. And naturally, an animal that’s very tall and has a long neck is at risk for lightning strikes. The post describes several ways this can happen, finishing up with one last horrifying-yet-kinda-funny example: “Betsy the giraffe was killed by lightning at Walt Disney World in Florida in 2003 (in front of lots of witnesses).”

[Source: Unusual Giraffe Deaths]

Top Image: Hamley, beloved giraffe star of ITV’s Wild at Heart, was struck by lightning in 2010.