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Filmmaker Carlos Carvalho, most known for his work in the African Movie Academy Award-winning film The Forgotten Kingdom, has died after an unfortunate incident involving a male giraffe named Gerald. He was only 47 years of age at the time of his death. Carvalho's crew took to Facebook to share details about what happened during the accident, as well as share their condolences, noting that the studios hearts go out to his family, and sharing a lovely picture of the man at work with wild animals. You can take a look, below.
Carlos Carvalho was filming at Glen Africa Country Lodge in the North West Province of South Africa on Wednesday evening. The filmmaker was working with Drikus Van Der Merwe and others at the lodge when the giraffe, Gerald, began "chasing the boom swinger who joined the unit." At the time, no one seemed alarmed because the giraffe just seemed curious. The filming team, including Mr. Carvalho, began taking some close-up shots of the giraffe, when the animal became agitated and hit Carvalho in the head. He was knocked out and taken to Milpark Hospital, where he died. According to Mr. Van Der Merwe,
Then while Carlos was looking through the camera eyepiece Gerald swung his neck and hit him against his head. It came out of nowhere and Carlos didn't even see it coming. He wasn't aware of the danger. I could see he was unconscious... I knew he had a severe head trauma. But I never thought he would die.
According to the Telegraph, Gerald will not be moved from the Glen Africa Country Lodge following the incident.
As for filmmaker Carlos Carvalho, the man left behind a body of work featuring Mining For Change: A Story of South African Mining and The Forgotten Kingdom. The cinematographer was working as a second unit camera operator for the TV movie Premium Nanny 2 when he was head-butted by the giraffe.
Working with live animals can have consequences, which is why we often limit the exposure between animals and their human trainers, especially at places like zoos. While nature documentaries, including Planet Earth 2, have shown us that giraffes can be aggressive, it's not often that accidents of this nature happen, although giraffes have previously attacked and killed humans. In 2010, for example, a woman was killed by a giraffe while walking her dog in South Africa. In that case, it was thought that a giraffe might have been protecting her calf.