WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. –Two giraffes were killed by lightning strikes last month at the Lion Country Safari.
Lily, 10, and Jioni, 1, were found when the keepers were checking on the animals.
Medical examinations showed the deaths happened instantly.
Giraffes in the park are kept in wide-open spaces that mimic their natural habitat instead of being put into enclosed pastures or pens. The park safety and crisis protocols are currently being reviewed to make sure the other giraffes stay safe.
Giraffes are labeled “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and two subspecies, West African and Rothschild’s giraffe, are labeled as “Endangered.”
Lion Country Safari breeds rare and endangered species through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan to continue the survival of threatened wildlife species.