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Giraffe Killed by Lightning

Paraphrased by
Steve Waldrop
July 25, 2003

Betsy, a 6-year old giraffe was struck and killed by lightning at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom, said company spokeswoman, Diane Ledder.

The giraffe had been at the Animal Kingdom since 1998, when the park opened. She was wandering in the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction when a sudden storm front moved in.

"To the best of my knowledge, it was a quick death," Ledder said.

The park has lightning rods placed throughout the safari area to protect animals. Animals can also be brought inside during severe weather, but the storm came through with too little warning.

Betsy was the first animal to die from a lightning strike at the theme park. Zoos have lost animals to lightning in the past, although rarely.


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