Mar 28, 2010 9:30 AM by MSNBC

Giraffe's head-butt sends zookeeper to hospital

A Rhode Island zookeeper has been treated at a hospital after butting heads with a giraffe.

A spokesperson for the Roger Williams Park Zoo told The Providence Journal that the 18-foot-tall giraffe was being playful and took a swipe at the keeper when she was cleaning up in a space between the exhibit and the public viewing area Saturday.

The keeper remained conscious and was able to walk to safety. She suffered minor head injuries but was later released from hospital.

Spokesperson Jan Mariani said the 20-year-old Griffy is not an aggressive animal but likes to get close to people and have his head petted.

Pat Sharkey, the zoo's general curator, told the newspaper that Griffy "does have a tendency to reach."

"Keepers are always on alert," Sharkey added. "This time, unfortunately, he made contact."



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