Baby killed and mother left paralysed by charging giraffe in horror attack
A grief-stricken mother has shared her harrowing experience after her baby was killed and she was left paralysed after being attacked by a charging giraffe. In October, at Kuleni Game Park, South African Nicole Panos, 25, and her family were attacked by the animal.
Nicole thinks the giraffe acted to defend its offspring when it suddenly charged at them, as the family was enjoying a pleasant morning in the sun.
She barely had a few seconds to save her daughter and son who were also in danger.
Nicole suffered the heartbreaking death of her one-year-old daughter, Kaia, who she had been holding in her arms.
Her four-year-old son, Kayden, survived the tragedy with skull fractures. Nicole was rendered paralysed by the incident.
Nicole described how the awful day Kaia’s life ended in an interview with The Sun, revealing how it “completely shattered” her. On their journey to her parent’s house, she recalled the horrifying moment they realised they were being attacked.
Nicole recalled turning around after hearing a loud commotion in the park to see the enormous giraffe racing at them while its head was dropped.
She screamed for Kaia to run while desperately running with her in her arms in an effort to protect her children.
Unfortunately, Nicole was thrown to the ground and rendered unconscious. She spotted the giraffe coming straight at Kayden when she came to.
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Once more losing consciousness, Nicole briefly recovered herself to see her mother holding Kaia, but she would later learn the heartbreaking news that her daughter had died.
She recalled the wrenching moment she learned the truth and said: “We all broke down.”
Nicole said she has been in survival mode ever since then and she expects to be in this position for the rest of her life.
She understood that the giraffe’s protective instinct might have suddenly activated, leading to the unfortunate outcome, but she accepted that neither she nor her family presented any threat to the animal or its child.
Nicole, who is still paralysed from the waist down, also spoke of the tremendous physical hardships she and her son have faced as a result of the incident.
She has been in the hospital for more than three weeks, including 16 days in intensive care, where she had several rib fractures and internal organ damage.
Nicole now faces multiple operations and a challenging road to recovery. As a result of his skull fractures, Kayden needs ongoing monitoring, and the family urgently needs additional funding to support the high medical costs they are currently facing.
A GoFundMe campaign was created with the aim of raising $120,000 (£96,300) to help with Ms Panos and Kayden’s recuperation. As of right now, the page has already accumulated donations totalling more than $33,500 (£26,000).
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