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Giraffes killed when lightning strikes their animal park

The animals died instantaneously, Lion County Safari officials said.
Credit: AP
FILE PHOTO: A giraffe eats greens (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Editor's Note: The above image is a file photo of a different giraffe.

Two giraffes were killed when they were struck by lightning at a Florida animal park, pathologists have confirmed.

The giraffes were named Lily and Jioni, and they lived at Lion County Safari in Wellington, Fla. They were killed in early May, but the cause of death was not determined until now, CBS affiliate WPEC reports.

"The keepers and our whole team were understandably devastated by this sudden and tragic loss; out of respect for their mourning and the pending pathology results, we waited to share this information," the park said on Facebook.

The park said the giraffes' death was instantaneous.

A park spokeswoman told WPEC the animals have a large habitat to roam, and there are areas for them to seek shelter. The park doesn't like to force the animals into the areas if they're not comfortable, the spokeswoman said.

We are deeply saddened to share the passing of two of our giraffe due to a lightning strike. Lily and Jioni were in the pasture in their habitat when a severe thunderstorm quickly developed 6 weeks...

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