Today on our way to work, we saw something pretty wild. Two male giraffes were walking on either side of a rhino fence. One decided to cross at one of the gaps in the fence. It took several awkward steps through the posts and across the rocks. Meantime, the other giraffe came closer to meet it. Then it reared up to face its adversary.
The first giraffe — the one crossing the fence — then also reared up and struck the second giraffe, which literally went over backwards, neck first. It landed very awkwardly and then lay totally still.
By coincidence, in the car with us was the retired Head Vet from the Denver Zoo, Dave Kenney, who now does conservation vet work with the zoo. We stopped and got out to look at the prone giraffe, assuming he was probably dead or unconcious. We were just approaching the giraffe — who had still not moved at all — when suddenly the giraffe sprang up and leapt away, leaving a small pool of blood on the ground where his head had been.
Most likely the giraffe was knocked unconsious in the fall and we happened to be right there when he woke up. It was a good thing Dave was NOT inspecting the giraffe for injuries as he had planned to do, right at that moment!