Scientist, son 'critical but stable' after giraffe attack

Scientist Dr Katy Williams and her son remain in critical condition following a giraffe attack, but the incident is "an unfortunate act of nature", says her husband, Dr Sam Williams.

Sam, who like his wife is a scientist with post-PhD experience in an animal-related field, returned from a trail run on the Blyde Wildlife Estate in Hoedspruit on Monday evening to find his wife and their son, Finn, under attack from a giraffe who had recently given birth to a calf.

READ: Mother, 3-year-old son critical after giraffe attack at Limpopo farm

According to a statement released on behalf of the family by their lawyer Marina Botha, Sam managed to chase the animal away.

"He confirmed that they understand nature and with the information available at the moment, he regards the incident as an unfortunate act of nature, where the giraffe saw his wife and son as a threat to her young one," Botha said.

The attack happened 150m from the family's home, where Finn usually waits for Sam, a UK resident, to return from his run.

The toddler and his mother, originally from the US, were treated at the scene before being airlifted to Busamed Modderfontein Hospital in Johannesburg.

ER24 was among the emergency services that responded to the scene, and reported that both had sustained numerous injuries and were in critical condition.

Botha said an operation was performed on Finn during the early hours of Tuesday morning to release pressure on his brain from injuries he had suffered.

Both are stable but in critical condition.

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