01/08/2014 07:28 BST | Updated 01/08/2014 08:59 BST

Giraffe Killed After Hitting Head On Bridge It Was Being Driven Under (PICTURES)

A male giraffe has been killed after it hit its head on a bridge it was being driven under.

The blindfolded animal - which was in the back of an open truck with a female giraffe - suffered catastrophic head injuries, but according to one eyewitness, the driver initially failed to notice it had happened.

Engineer Thinus Botha, 32, witnessed the scene as he pulled over from the N1 motorway on the outskirts of Pretoria – South Africa’s capital.

giraffe hits head on bridge

Moments before disaster: The pair of giraffes were being transported on a highway in Pretoria, South Africa

He told Barcroft Media: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – it was such a strange sight.

“I decided to pull over to take a photo but just seconds later one of the animals hit its head on the Garstfontein highway overpass – killing it.

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“I heard a loud thump and saw a lot of blood coming out of the giraffe’s nose.”

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had to take the next off ramp but I noticed the truck just kept driving along for a while before it stopped.

“I don’t think the driver knew exactly what had happened – he only stopped when other motorists started hooting.”

The surviving animal – a female - was not injured and is “doing well”, vet Dr Chris Kingsley told The Citizen.

The pair were being transported to a game farm when the accident happened.

South Africa’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) is looking into the matter.

An NSPCA spokesman told Eye Witness News: “All we can ascertain at this stage is severe head trauma. We are continuing our investigation with the view to possibly lay criminal charges against those responsible.”

"Our investigations so far showed that the transport used was inadequate and incorrect."

Pabi Moloi also witnessed the accident.

She tweeted: “What a weird and sad thing to witness. That impact was so shocking. Wow."

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