The wife and son of a British scientist have been left critically injured after they were attacked by a giraffe at a wildlife reserve in South Africa.
Dr Sam Williams, 36, found his wife and son still under attack by the giraffe just 150m from their family home after he returned from a run, according to a statement from the family's lawyer, Marina Botha.
He managed to chase the giraffe away but both his wife Dr Katy Williams, 35, and their three-year-old son Finn are in "a critical but stable condition" following the incident on Monday.
It is believed the giraffe attacked them because it saw the pair as a threat to its child.
The family's representative said: "Dr Sam Williams confirmed that several doctors operated on his wife, Dr Katy Williams at Busamed Modderfontein Hospital in Johannesburg."
Three-year-old Finn also underwent surgery early on Tuesday morning, to release pressure on his brain caused by injuries sustained in the incident.
Marina Botha said the operations dealt with multiple injuries sustained during the attack by the giraffe.
Both Dr Katy Williams and Finn were treated at the scene by a medical professional, Dr Victor Loftie-Eaton.
The patients were then transferred to a local airfield and the medical team worked relentlessly to help stabilise the mother and son while waiting for two helicopters to arrive from ER 24.
Dr Sam Williams and his wife are both scientist with post PhD experience in animal related fields.
Williams said he regards the incident as an unfortunate act of nature where the giraffe saw his wife and son as a threat to her young one.
The Blyde Wildlife Estate Manager, Riaan Cilliers, confirmed the giraffe question wanted to protect her child - a two-month-old calf.
"We are all in shock about this very sad incident and we ensure the family that they are in our prayers," Mr Cilliers said.
Dr Williams praised all the hospital staff and said he would like to thank all doctors and medical personal for their efforts to give his wife and son the best chance to recover.