Hollywood thought it would be funny to use an age-old tasteless gag as part of the second sequel to The Hangover movie.  But now it's actually happened in real life. (Photo is from scene in The Hangover III- movie still via YouTube).

The British newspaper Daily Mail online reported Thursday a giraffe died after it struck it's head on a low overpass while being transported in an open truck in South Africa.

A South African engineer, Thinus Botha,  snapped a couple of pictures of the animal, one of two being moved along the N1 freeway near Pretoria, South Africa.   Botha took a picture just seconds before the animal's head slammed into the concrete overpass.

He said he even heard the "thud" then as he pulled alongside, he could see blood coming from the animal's nose.   The driver was reported to authorities and stopped at a toll station up the road.   Officials with South Africa's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said he could be facing charges.  Officials say the truck had broken down for several hours earlier in the day, leaving the two giraffes stuck in their trailers for several hours in summer heat.

A similar event was used in the movie The Hangover III, where one of the characters,  Alan Garner causes a 20-car pileup.  He was towing the giraffe he bought in an open trailer behind a Mercedes Benz when a low overpass decapitated the animal, causing the traffic incident.  While it was meant as an edgy gag,  many viewers found it to be tasteless.

In the wake of this real-life incident,  that's especially true.

The animal likely died from severe blunt force trauma, said South African authorities.