Keeping your family safe at the zoo.
Visitors and staff at the San Francisco zoo are recovering today after a terrifying tiger attack just after closing yesterday. According to a CNN report, San Francisco Fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said the Siberian tiger, which killed one visitor and mauled two others, had been shot and killed by police. "Apparently right around closing time—there was a pen with four tigers in it—one of the tigers got out. The tiger went into a cafe at the zoo and attacked a patron. That person ended up dying at the scene."
A statement was released by the president of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums: "AZA-accredited zoos are safe. Until this incident, there had not been a visitor fatality resulting from an animal escape at an AZA-accredited zoo."
This type of tragic event is rare but the concern it raises is: how can we make sure our kids stay safe at the zoo?
Christina Simmons at the San Diego Zoo tells Mom•Logic the top three things to keep in mind:
•Make sure the zoo you visit is accredited. Those zoos who are part of the AZA have to meet very strict protocols that keep visitors and animals safe (look for the AZA insignia on the zoo's entrance sign).
•Wash hands after petting animals. Of course kids (and adults) should only pet animals in "petting allowed" areas of the zoo. The most common problem parents have at the zoo is sick kids after petting animals and not washing.
•Be familiar with off-limit areas. Pay attention to signs and be aware of your children; keep them from climbing walls or fences, and reaching through barriers.