Filmmaker Carlos Carvalho Killed by Giraffe While Shooting Movie

Filmmaker Carlos Carvalho was killed after being attacked by a giraffe while filming a movie in South Africa.

carlos carvahlo
(Photo: Facebook/ChallaCrew)

According to Deadline, Carvalho was working on a movie about a British family who owns a game lodge in the country. While trying to get a close-up of a giraffe named Gerald at the Glen Afric Country Lodge, the animal became "inquisitive" about what he was trying to do. It then headbutted Carvalho, launching him 16 feet into the air.

Carvalho suffered massive head injuries and was rushed to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. He died from his injuries Wednesday night.

Richard Brooker, whose family owns the lodge, told The Telegraph that Gerald will stay at the lodge.

"When Carlos was standing in front of the giraffe, the animal spread its legs, bent its neck and swung its head at Carlos," Brooker explained. "Gerald will remain at the lodge. He did nothing wrong."

“It came out of nowhere and Carlos didn’t even see it coming. He wasn’t aware of the danger," Drikus Van Der Merwe, who was working on the film, told the Telegraph. "I could see he was unconscious... I knew he had a severe head trauma. But I never thought he would die."

"It is with a very sad heart that we have to announce the passing of Carlos Carvalho, one of our favourite DOP’s. Carlos was filming a feature at Glen Afric and had a fatal run in with a giraffe on set. He was flown to Milpark Hospital but succumbed to his injuries 20:50 last night," the company CallaCrew wrote on Facebook Thursday. "Our thoughts and condolences go out to Carlo’s family and friends during this very sad time. He will be sorely missed."

Carvahlo was an award-winning filmmaker, earning a Silver Lion at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival for public service announcement for Childline. In 2014, he received the African Movie Academy Cinematography Award for The Forgotten Kingdom. According to his IMDb page, he also worked on the 2010 documentary Mining for Change: A Story of South African Mining.

The Forgotten Kingdom was a historic movie, becoming the first feature film made in Lesotho. It also received the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography at the Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Gala in New York.

Andrew Mudge, who directed The Forgotten Kingdom, wrote on Facebook he was "absolutely gutted" by the tragic news.


"He had a quiet wisdom to him, and when he listened – which he always did – he did so with his whole being,” Mudge wrote of Carvahlo. “My heart goes out to his wife and kids."

Photo credit: Facebook/CallaCrew