There has been a lot of buzz recently about zoos and safety. It can be scary when you see things on the news and read things online about tragic accidents. But, are zoos really safe? The answer is yes! All zoos are required to follow strict codes of safety when making and maintaining animal enclosures. In fact, our own Hogle Zoo’s open-air exhibits not only meet safety stands, but they exceed them. You can feel confident about bringing your family.
In the past 26 years, there have been 256 registered injuries that have occurred at zoos nationwide (this includes all parks that have wild animals). However, the majority of these incidents happened between animals and their caretakers. It is rare for a patron to ever have an encounter with an animal. Accidents can happen unexpectedly. Here are 3 simple things to remember to stay safe while enjoying your time at the zoo.
Just like humans, animals don’t like to be teased. Knocking on the glass may seem like a good way to grab the animal’s attention, but it may just provoke and irritate them. Teach your kids to respect and appreciate the animals, but also teach them that these are wild animals. Visiting the zoo is an opportunity to enjoy, not control the animals.
Safety is in your hands. Zoos are required to meet safety standards for all animal enclosures. You can be certain that habitats are made for the comfort of the animal, along with your safety, in mind. But that still might not stop some people from trying to get a better angle, a better view, or a better photo. Barriers are meant to keep the animals in and keep us out. Keep your kids close and pay attention to the standards and rules of the zoo. Respect the animals and respect their space.
We were never meant to worry at the zoo. It is a place where we can go to enjoy wonderful and exotic animals. Zoos give us a fantastic opportunity to experience the beautiful world we live in. Zookeepers do their job because they love these animals. We can go and learn to love them too. Enjoy the experience and respect the animals. Have fun!