Monday, June 17, 2024

Video shows giraffe at Texas drive-thru safari park lifting toddler into the air


A video has captured the moment a giraffe lifted a 2-year-old girl out of the back of a pickup truck while she was trying to feed the animal during a drive-thru safari in Texas. 

Jason Toten told KWTX that his “heart stopped” and his “stomach dropped” during the incident involving his daughter Paisley at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, outside of Dallas, on June 1. 

“We stopped to feed the giraffes and I turned around to look out the back window, and I saw the giraffe kind of digging around right there, and then it just grabbed her and I didn’t see her no more,” he said to the station. 

“Paisley was holding the bag [of food] and the giraffe went to go get the bag, not get her, but ended up getting her shirt too and picking her up,” Toten added. “Soon as she went up her mom just yelled hey — like ‘HEY!’ — and the giraffe just kind of let go.” 

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Giraffe lifts child into the air in Texas

A video has captured a giraffe lifting a child into the air in Texas during a drive-thru safari. (Sierra Robert/TMX)

The child ultimately was unharmed. 

Footage taken of the incident begins with a red truck approaching a giraffe on its passenger side. 

“You want to feed the giraffe? Feed him,” Paisley’s mother is heard saying. 

She then holds her daughter’s arm out towards the giraffe – but the animal grabs the child’s shirt instead and begins lifting her into the air. 

“My heart stopped, my stomach dropped… it scared me,” Jason Toten told KWTX. 

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Texas drive-thru safari giraffe lifts child into air

In a reflection on the truck’s window, Paisley Toten can be seen being lifted into the air by the giraffe. (Sierra Robert/TMX)

The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center describes itself as a nonprofit “specializing in captive breeding programs for indigenous and exotic endangered and threatened species.”

“Most Fossil Rim animals are free-roaming and may approach the vehicle. Even animals that may seem docile to you can be dangerous,” it says on its website. 

Texas giraffe approaches vehicle

The giraffe at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is seen approaching a truck on Sunday, June 1. (Sierra Robert/TMX)

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“Effective June 6th, 2024, guests are no longer permitted to ride in the bed of pickup trucks,” it adds. 



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