Home News Giraffe plucks toddler from parents’ truck at Texas wildlife park, video shows

Giraffe plucks toddler from parents’ truck at Texas wildlife park, video shows

A giraffe plucked a toddler from her parents’ truck as it drove through a wildlife park in Texas over the weekend, dramatic video shows.

Paisley Toten, sporting pigtails and a giant grin at the time, was seated next to her mother in the bed of their pickup when the incident occurred at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. The nonprofit safari park in Glen Rose features a 7.2 mile drive-thru trail that allows visitors to get up close and personal with the animals on site, among them endangered antelope and giraffes.

Paisley was feeding the animals on Saturday when a giraffe approached the family’s vehicle — but instead of grabbing a bite to eat, the long-necked animal latched onto the toddler and lifted her several feet into the air.

The moment was caught on camera by Paisley’s mom, Sierra Robert, and the visitors in the car behind them. In the seconds before the giraffe arrives, Robert can be heard encouraging 2-year-old Paisley to give it some food.

“By the time I, like, looked back over, she was gone,” Robert told Good Morning America. “It was just really a shock, you know, adrenaline sets in.”

THe child’s father, Jason Toten, said his “heart just stopped” the minute his daughter was airborne. He told ABC News Robert was able to catch their daughter when the giraffe eventually dropped her.

Paisley was not injured and the family continued on down the safari trail without further issue. Afterwards, they purchased her a giraffe toy and matching shirt in the gift shop.

“We’re gonna revisit. We’re not mad at the giraffe. We’re not mad at the park,” he said, adding that his daughter is still a giraffe lover despite the dramatic experience.

“We’re still gonna encourage everybody else to go visit,” Toten continued. “It’s a great place to go, especially for toddlers or kids really that love animals.”

In a statement to ABC News, the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center said  the “safety of our guests and animals is always of utmost importance to us. Although an incident like this has never occurred here previously, we are taking immediate action to make sure it won’t happen again.”

It continued:  “Effective immediately Fossil Rim will no longer be allowing guests to ride through the park in truck beds. Fossil Rim offers a variety of experiences guided by knowledgeable staff so guests can continue to have up-close and memorable animal encounters, and support our mission to save threatened and endangered species.”


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