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Texas Zoo Giraffe Stuns Onlookers, Lifts Toddler Out of Car

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Texas Zoo Giraffe Stuns Onlookers, Lifts Toddler Out of Car
Source: Pinterest

Texas Zoo Giraffe Stuns Onlookers, Lifts Toddler Out of Car

Source: Pinterest

Imagine taking your toddler to the zoo and having a jaw-dropping and frightening moment as a giraffe picks up the child in its mouth. That was the reality of Sierra Robert and Jason Toten, the parents of little Paisley Toten. The family was enjoying a beautiful day in the zoo when a giraffe shocked everyone by picking up their daughter Paisley.

A Shocking Occurrence 

Source: Pinterest

A beautiful family of three had a shocking and scary moment while taking a tour around a Texas zoo when a giraffe picked up their 2-year-old girl by the collar of her shirt. However, the animal only held the child for a few seconds and let her go back into her mother’s arms almost immediately. Still, onlookers and people on social media can not stop talking about this unexpected incident that has now gone viral. 

 

The Family Visited a Texas Zoo

Source: Pinterest

The eventful day started when two-year-old Paisley Toten, with her parents Sierra Robert and Jason Toten decided to visit a zoo in the early days of June. The parents chose the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, which is located in Glen Rose, Texas. This center is an upclose zoo that allows visitors to drive through the wildlife and feed some friendly animals including giraffes.

They Rode in Truck Beds

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While traveling through the wildlife center, the zoo allows visitors to ride in truck beds. Children are also allowed, but only under the supervision and presence of an adult. The trucks are roofless to make it easier for visitors to access the giraffes. Therefore, the center encourages interactions between the animals and the visitors in many ways. 

Offering Snacks to Giraffes 

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One way to interact with the animals is by feeding them. Therefore, the visitors were in their trucks, following the center’s trail, when a giraffe walked up to them. People began to offer the animal snacks and enjoy them. Then, the giraffe went towards the Toten family, whose two-year-old was also carrying a bag of giraffe snacks. 

ALSO READ: Los Angeles Zoo Euthanizes 53-Year-Old Ailing Elephant

 

The Giraffe Picked Her Up 

Source: Facebook/SierraRobert

Paisley and her mother were laughing at the giraffe as it kept losing its head to search for snacks. However, this quickly turned scary when the giraffe lifted Paisley into the air by biting into the little girl’s shirt collar. It lifted Paisley above the truck bed, and she was in its grasp for a few terrifying seconds. This was shocking, terrifying, and unexpected, as this incident does not occur frequently in zoos. 

The Giraffe Dropped Her Unharmed 

Source: Facebook/SierraRobert

Thankfully, the entire ordeal did not last more than a couple of seconds. While the giraffe lifted Paisley out of the truck, her mother Sierra Robert shouted, “Hey!” at the animal, who dropped her back almost immediately. The little girl landed safely in Robert’s arms and was not hurt in any way. The giraffe also remained calm and did not act aggressively towards anyone in the truck. 

 

Other Visitors Were Also Frightened 

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Both Robert and another visitor, who was a few cards behind the Toten family’s truck, were able to capture the entire incident on camera. The visitor, Lindsay Merriman, narrated the experience, explaining that his daughter was recording the giraffe eating the snacks from passengers in the truck. Therefore, just like the ref of the cars behind the Toten family, they saw the entire thing play out. 

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An Animal’s Mistake

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The father of the little girl, Jason Toten, also explained how the entire incident happened and how scary it was for the family. He noted that Paisley was holding the bag of snacks and the giraffe reached for the bag, not Paisley, but ended up biting her shirt as well. Therefore, the entire thing was an accident, and it let her go just a few seconds later. 

 

The Happy Toddler

Source: Facebook/SierraRobert

While the parents were very frightened in those few moments, Paisley was not scared at all. In fact, the toddler thought it was normal and kept smiling through it all. She is a brave little girl. Robert took to Facebook to post about their little adventure to the zoo and advised people not to ride in the back of a truck when going to visit animals in the zoo.

ALSO READ: Nebraska Zoo Stops Visitors from Throwing Money into Exhibits After Pulling 70 Coins from Alligator’s Stomach

The Zoo’s Statement 

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Almost immediately, the wildlife center’s official accounts posted a statement apologizing for the incident and explaining that they would never knowingly compromise the safety of their visitors. They also noted their surprise, as nothing of the sort had happened before in the center’s history. However, they promised to take appropriate action to prevent such an incident from happening again. 

 

Implementing Cautionary Changes

Source: Pinterest

The wildlife center also stated that they would no longer allow visitors to ride through the zoo in truck beds without roofs. This will protect both the visitors and the animals. While Paisley’s parents were shocked and frightened, they understood that it was only a mistake. They harbor no ill feelings toward the zoo or the giraffe.

An Eventful Visit

Source: Pinterest

The family also reassured all the worried staff and visitors that Paisley was okay. She had sustained no injuries and was still a smiling, happy child. After this, they went to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center’s gift shop and bought her a giraffe shirt and a stuffed giraffe. These will serve as reminders of such an eventful day for the family. 

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