Good morning! I'm Chris "Petey" Peterson, and I am glad to bring you this week's

Thing Of The Week is very simple: each Week, I will post a Thing. Each Thing is something that is funny or interesting or odd or something I am being paid a great deal of money to post as a viral media Web 2.0 guerilla marketing tactic.

This week's Thing is a news article from the Animal Care Center.

According to the article :

Giraffe Killed by Lightning at Disney's Animal Kingdom

By Maria A. Schulz

A 12-foot tall giraffe, known by the name of Betsy, died last Monday after being struck by lightning from a severe, sudden storm that swept across the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

At least three attraction trams, carrying at least 90 people, may have witnessed the incident that resulted in the 6-year-old giraffe's death.

"To the best of my knowledge, it was a quick death," said Disney spokeswoman Diane Ledder. An examination by an on-site veterinarian confirmed Ledder's comments, determining that Betsy died instantly and probably didn't know what hit her.

The park has lightning rods placed strategically throughout the safari area to protect the animals, and workers often shepherd the animals to safety inside of barns when severe weather strikes. But the storm came through too quickly and with too little warning, Ledder said.

Betsy was the first animal to die from a lightning strike at Walt Disney World, but these kinds of deaths do sometimes occur at other animal parks, she said. Lightning deaths are also fairly common for giraffes who live in the wild, since lightning will hit the tallest objects on the ground.

"It's very unfortunate and unusual? but it has happened in the past," Ledder said. Betsy had been with Disney since 1998, and was one of the safari's most beloved animals. Her death leaves the attraction with 15 giraffes, plus 10 more animals at the Animal Kingdom lodge.


Thank you, Betsy, for being This Week's furriest lightning rod!

– Chris "Petey" Peterson

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