The grieving widow of the South African director, Carlos Carvalho, recently faced the giraffe that killed her husband at the 1,500-acre Glen Afric reserve. The 47-year-old movie director was headbutted by Gerald the Giraffe as the beast swung its strong neck at him.
Carlos was sent flying 16 feet through the air and was left with fatal head injuries after the animal headbutted him.
Drikus Van Der Merwe was part of the filming crew and was standing next to Carlos when he was attacked. ‘He started chasing the boom swinger who joined our unit,’ Van Der Merwe recalled. ‘The giraffe followed him but we didn’t feel threatened because he just seemed to be inquisitive.’
‘We started shooting close ups of its body and its feet. 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,’ he continued. ‘There was blood coming out of his eyes and ears so I knew he had a severe head trauma. But I never thought he would die. Out of all the wild animals we have filmed I can’t believe a giraffe killed Carlos. I suppose we get so used to filming animals that we become desensitised in a way.’
In a recent interview, Richard Brooker, the owner of Glen Afric Country Lodge told how Carlos was killed. He said: ‘Carlos was standing in front of the giraffe, the animal spread its legs, bent its neck and swung its head at Carlos. It was a terrible accident and we are heartbroken. Gerald will remain at the lodge. He did nothing wrong.’
After the incident, Carlos’s body laid lifeless on the ground until the on-set paramedic arrived. He was then airlifted to the hospital.
After Carlos’s death, his widow, Dina Carvalho decided to confront the animal on Thursday so as to feel the final moments of her husband. Dina first met with the film crew to hear about Carlos’s final moments on the set of Premium Nanny 2.
After that, the grieving widow went face to face with the animal that headbutted her husband to death. The mother-of-two paced alongside the giraffe as he pushed towards her, against the fence of his enclosure.
‘I wanted to feel what my husband must have faced in those last terrifying seconds of his life,’ Dina told The Sun while describing her feelings after the brave act.
‘The whole time we paced Gerald never took his eyes off me. So I just stared back at his restless eyes and the horns that killed Carlos thinking about that awful moment he struck my husband. I felt numb, defiant and incredibly sad all at the same time.’
Carlos won many awards since he began his career as a runner in 1992 but he is notably known for his work in ITV’s popular Wild at Heart series.
Carlos was very popular among people. The filmmakers Cape Town agent Sandi-Lee Slabbert said: ‘He was an amazing, amazing man and fabulous to work with. Everyone loved him and loved working with him.’
‘He was very well known at Glen Afric where he filmed a lot. He is a very sad loss to everyone who knew him and the industry.’
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