Hollywild Animal Park confident in safety protocol

WELLFORD (WSPA) – A gorilla was shot and killed at a Cincinnati zoo, after a child fell in its enclosure over the weekend.

This tragic incident has zoos and animal parks across the country looking into their own safety measures to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Zoos here in the Upstate have measures in place to prevent people from slipping into animal exhibits, but that doesn’t always stop people.

At Hollywild Animal Park, you’re encouraged to get up close and personal with the animals to learn more about them.

But the bigger animals are off-limits, and workers here make that very clear so no one gets hurt.

“Barriers are there for a reason. They’re not only there to protect the public, they’re there to protect the animals as well,” says Nigel Platt, the animal curator for Hollywild.

Kids are encouraged to feed the smaller animals, like goats and birds. On the safari, you can even feed the buffalo.

On the safari, there’s a safety talk at the start of each bus ride, and the driver monitors riders at each stop to make sure they aren’t leaning too far forward.

But for the bigger animals, like lions and bears, there are double gates and signs at the exhibits because sometimes, one barrier isn’t enough.

“It doesn’t matter if you put a 12 foot barrier there, you always get someone that wants to get that extra special moment where they’re close, or now we’ve got selfie sticks and goodness knows what else. It’s a problem,” Platt says.

Platt is urging everyone to keep an eye on their kids to prevent any further tragedies.

He also says the park is secure and guests shouldn’t worry for their safety when they visit, but he is going to work with his staff to make sure the animal enclosures are secure and the barriers will keep out any curious kids.

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