South African filmmaker Carlos Carvalho has died after a run-in with a giraffe while filming at a wildlife facility.The giraffe, known as Gerald, swung his neck and struck Carvalho with his head while Carvalho was filming him.
Carvalho flew through the air and suffered head injuries, from which he ultimately died. He was 47.
Carvalho was filming at the Glen Afric farm in Broederstroom, about 64 kilometres from Johannesburg, when he “had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set”, filming agency CallaCrew said.
He was flown to a Johannesburg hospital for treatment on Wednesday but died the same night.
A crew member, Drikus van der Merwe, said the giraffe had seemed “inquisitive” and that the strike “came out of nowhere”.
The film crew had been at the game farm in North West Province, where tourists can interact with wild animals, to get footage for a German movie, Premium Nanny 2.
Carvalho had won several awards, including a Silver Lion at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival for a Childline public service announcement and a 2014 African Movie Academy Cinematography Award.
A Glen Afric spokesperson said Carvalho had ignored safety instructions not to approach the animal and that he was unauthorised to film.
“Gerald was not to blame and would not be put down,” the farm said. “We are not going to shoot Gerald. He was not in the wrong. I don’t consider him to be a dangerous animal.”