A BRADFORD scientist has discovered his wife and three-year-old son badly injured after they were trampled by a giraffe on the South African wildlife reserve where they live.

Dr Sam Williams, 36, was returning from a run when he found the giraffe standing over the bodies of his wife Katy, 35, and son Finn.

He scared off the animal at the Blyde Wildlife Estate near Hoedspruit in the north east of the country and called the emergency services.

The pair were airlifted to Johannesburg. Finn underwent an operation during the early hours of Tuesday to release pressure on his brain related to his injuries. 

Mrs Williams received multiple injuries and was operated upon last night.
Mother and son are still in a critical, but stable condition. The family said that they have decided to take one day at a time and to remain positive.

Explaining what had happened‚ family spokesperson Marina Botha said in a statement on Wednesday that “Dr Williams, who returned from a trail run on the estate, found his wife and son still under attack by the giraffe within a mere 150m from their family home, where Finn normally waits for his father to return from his run. Dr Sam Williams managed to chase the giraffe away.”

She said that Dr Katy Williams and Finn were treated on the scene by Hoedspruit Medical Rescue as well as a medical doctor from Hoedspruit.
The patients were transferred to a local airfield and the medical team worked to stabilise them while waiting for emergency helicopters to arrive. 

She said that Finn was the first to be airlifted to Johannesburg‚ with his mother following shortly afterwards.

The couple are PhD animal researchers.

Mr Williams grew up in Bradford and went to Whitcliffe Mount School, Cleckheaton.

He believes that‚ based on the information available‚ he regarded the incident as an unfortunate act of nature‚ where the giraffe saw his wife and son as a threat to her calf.