Naval Hill loses a beloved ‘resident’

Masabatha, the giraffe cow, who fell into a trench on Naval Hill and died. PHOTO: MYDRIE ENGELBRECHT

Naval Hill has lost one of its oldest and most well-loved “residents”. This after Masabatha, the giraffe cow, fell into a trench on the Hill and died.

Attempts were made to try and rescue her, but due to her age, the attempts were unsuccessful. Masabatha was the mother of the remaining two giraffe bulls.

According to the Friends of Franklin’s Andri Grobbelaar, she lives at the foot of the Hill and while busy in her garden, she heard a loud noise. When she went to see what was happening, she saw the giraffe in a trench. “I kept my distance and saw that the giraffe tried to lift herself twice but fell back into the trench.”

The Bloemfontein SPCA was called, and rescue efforts included members of the public and the Mangaung Fire Department.

Grobbelaar said that Masabatha’s death was sad, even though they knew that she had been getting older, and that it was part of the cycle of life. “This was one of the reasons we decided that we need to get additional giraffes on Naval Hill because even though we didn’t know that she would leave us like this, we knew that because of her age it would happen sooner or later.” She added they were looking forward to welcoming the new giraffes in the months to come.

Residents can support the Friends of Franklin with donations to assist them with the work they do on Naval Hill. For more information visit their website at

Sazly Hartzenberg