A 35-year-old mother and her 3-year-old son are in the hospital after a giraffe attacked them at a wildlife reserve in South Africa last week.
The mother, Katy Williams, is originally from Baltimore and has been living with her family and working with animals in Africa for years. Last Monday, Williams and her son were at the wildlife reserve when officials say a giraffe mistook them as a threat, and violently attacked them thinking she was protecting her calf.
Both were left with severe injuries after the attack, and the 3-year-old is still in a coma with brain damage that could potentially be permanent, according to doctors.
Williams' father created a GoFundMe account for the mother and son, posting the update below:
"Katy and Finn were about a 150 yards from their home in South Africa, when they came to a opening in the trees, they saw a group of giraffes. A large female charged them and started beating them with its hooves.
The results of this beating left both Katy and Finn in critical condition with wounds to the head, bodies and limbs.. slowly they have started coming out of the coma..The injuries to both is massive...The time they have to remain in hospital is still unknown but another month ICE is expected..The total for Air Transport to Hospital, hospital bills as well as Doctor bills will be staggering.
Please, give a little or a lot.. it all counts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
“It is simply their natural behaviors, they’re just responding to natural stimuli and other factors in the environment that you’re just not aware of,” Sydney Larsen, giraffe house area manager at the Maryland Zoo said about the attack.
“When they feel threatened they will do whatever they need to protect their giraffes,” she said. “They certainly are built to protect themselves in the wild."
Make a donation to the family on their GoFundMe page, here.