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, is thought to have swung his neck and struck Mr Carvalho with his head while being filmed, causing Mr Carvalho to fly through the air and suffer head trauma, from which he ultimately died. He was 47.
Mr Carvalho was filming at the Glen Afric farm in Broederstroom, about 64km from Johannesberg, when he “had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set”, according to filming agency CallaCrew.
He was flown to a Johannesberg 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 North West Province game farm where tourists can interact with wild animals to get footage for a German movie, Premium Nanny 2.
Mr 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.
The Glen Afric website promises tourists they “can get up close and personal to a number of our resident wildlife”.
A Glen Afric spokesperson said Mr 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.”
The British television series Wild at Heart was filmed at Glen Afric, which invites visitors to tour the area where filming occurred.
In 2015, a man was believed to have been trampled to death by a giraffe on a South African game reserve.
Local media also report a woman was believed to have died after being kicked by a giraffe in north-eastern South Africa in 2010.