Theme Park Announces New Rules After Attempted Kidnapping by Wild Animal

in Featured, Theme Parks

Two images of a giraffe approaching a car with an open window, circled in blue. A large red "X" overlays the images, suggesting this is not advisable, reminiscent of incidents like when a giraffe grabs toddler in Texas. Multiple vehicles are seen on a road in a park setting.

Credit: Inside the Magic

A popular family theme park in Texas has announced new rules for visitors following the attempted kidnapping of a toddler by a wild animal in the park.

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Several giraffes interact with safari vehicles on a road, surrounded by greenery and trees. People observe and take photos from the open-sided vehicles. The scene captures the close-up encounter between visitors and wild animals in a wildlife setting.
Credit: Fossil Rim Wildlife Park

A video of a giraffe grabbing a toddler from the back of a pickup truck at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas went viral this week.

Please Feed the Animals

Jason Toten and his wife took their two-year-old daughter Paisley to the wildlife center, located in Glen Rose, Texas, located approximately 55 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, and 76 miles from Dallas, Texas. The wildlife-themed park features a drive-through attraction that allows visitors to view wildlife from their vehicles.

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Two giraffes lean into an open tram filled with smiling children and adults. The children eagerly reach out to feed and pet the giraffes. In a playful moment, a giraffe picks up a toddler at the wildlife park, adding an extra touch of excitement to the lively scene.
Credit: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

No “Don’t Feed the Animals” signs here–in fact, visitors are encouraged to feed the animals. But for the Toten family, the activity took a terrifying turn as little Paisley was seated in the bed of her father’s truck alongside her mother. When the pair stopped to feed one of the giraffes, the animal grabbed the toddler by her shirt, lifting her into the air before dropping her.

“My heart stopped,” the child’s father said. “My stomach dropped; it scared me.

Visitors in the vehicle behind the Toten family caught the scary incident on video.

Toten says that what happened was just an accident–that the animal was grabbing food and accidentally grabbed onto his daughter.

He further said that he and his family were following all of the rules at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, which included keeping all the doors on the vehicle closed, staying 50 feet away from gates, and feeding the animals with cups rather than their hands.

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Two images show a giraffe approaching multiple cars on a road at a wildlife park. In both images, people in the cars appear to be feeding or interacting with the giraffe. The scene captures a safari-like experience with the cars stopped and the giraffe leaning down, creating memorable moments for all ages.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Regardless, the wildlife-themed park has implemented a new rule in an effort to decrease the chances of a similar situation happening again.

New Measure Taken to Ensure This Doesn’t Happen Again

“We were recently made aware of an incident involving one of our giraffes that occurred this past weekend,” said a representative for Fossil Rim via email to CBS News. “The incident was first reported to us on Monday, June 3. The safety of our guests and animals is always of utmost importance to us.”

In a theme park, a jeep designed with zebra stripes is parked in a grassy area, surrounded by zebras, a giraffe, and a deer. Several people are seated in the jeep, observing and interacting with the animals. Trees and more green grass are visible in the background.
Credit: Facebook/Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

According to the representative, there has never been an incident like this one at Fossil Rim.

“Effective immediately, Fossil Rim will no longer be allowing guests to ride through the park in truck beds,” the representative said. “Fossil Rim offers a variety of experiences guided by knowledgeable staff so guests can continue to have up-close and memorable animal encounters and support our mission to save threatened and endangered species.”

The incident didn’t change the Toten family’s feelings toward the safari park. In fact, Jason Toten says they look forward to visiting again. And interestingly enough, little Paisley got to take home a stuffed giraffe from the park’s gift shop following the otherwise “rough ride.”

in Featured, Theme Parks

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