The Star recently reported on the increase in accidents at the zoo for 2016. According to the story, accidents increased from 122 in 2015 to 174 in 2016. This total is significantly higher than the six-month average. Zoo officials said visitors do not need to be concerned, only three (3) of the zoo accidents were animal-related. Many of the accidents appear to be preventable and related to personal safety.
Your Personal Safety and the Safety of the Animals
Children can especially be at risk for accidents at the zoo because they are so excited to see the animals they forget to watch where they are walking and may take dangerous risks to get closer to the animals. However, this behavior is not limited to children. Many adults can be just as guilty of being distracted or taking risks.
In addition to your personal safety, you need to be careful not to place the animals in danger. Therefore, when you are visiting the zoo you should:
- Never cross barriers. The barriers are there to keep the animals safe, but they are also there to keep you safe. Wild animals, especially baby animals, may seem cute and huggable, but they are dangerous. Stay within the designated areas at all times.
- Never swim or wade in any water within the zoo. This water is not intended for swimming and could contain bacteria that could be harmful.
- Do not feed animals, even birds or other animals that may be roaming freely throughout the park. Animals are on specialized diets. Additional food could harm the animals. “Wild” animals could be aggressive and cause injury if you try to feed them. This includes animals in a petting zoo.
- Children and adults need to wash their hands with water and use hand sanitizer after petting animals in a petting zoo. When children are around the animals in the petting zoo, keep a close eye on them and make sure that they never put anything in their mouths while they are touching the animals.
- Wear proper attire for the zoo. Always keep shoes on when in the zoo and make sure to wear comfortable shoes for walking, including walking on uneven surfaces and terrain.
- Use sunscreen and wear hats to protect yourself from sunburns.
- Do not allow children to run in the zoo. The zoo can become very crowded and pathways are only intended for walking.
- Never sit, climb, or lean on the railings and never place your child on railings. You or your child could easily fall into the animal habitat or fall onto a hard surface.
- Always keep an eye on your child and keep your child close. It is easy to become separated, especially when the zoo is crowded.
- Watch your step — many paths are uneven. Do not walk while distracted.
- Do not allow your child to tease the animals or bang on glass barriers.
- Put trash in trash receptacles. Straws, twist ties, plastic lids, and other items can harm animals. Place all trash in the proper containers.
In addition to the above safety measures, make sure to check with the zoo to determine items that are not permitted within the zoo. Many zoos do not allow firearms, balls, frisbees, controlled substances, radios, skates, alcohol, and other items to be brought into the zoo. By following the rules and keeping your children close, you can avoid many of the zoo accidents that occurred last year.
Ontario Personal Injury Lawyers
If your injury at the zoo was because of the negligence of the zoo or its employees, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact the team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond to discuss your legal options for filing an accident claim.
Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.