Although, statistically, animal attacks at the zoo are rare they do occur; when they do it is usually discovered that the incident could have been prevented.
Wild animals are dangerous and unpredictable, as such, it is important to make sure that the appropriate safety regulations and procedures are in place. Most of the animal-related accidents at the zoo involve employees or trainers, however some incidents involve inexperienced bystanders that are at the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way, if the injury was the unfortunate result of the zoo’s failure to ensure their employees’ and visitors’ safety by taking necessary precautions, the affected victims may be entitled to pursue compensation for their injuries.
Zoo Safety Rules as a Visitor
Every zoo has certain rules and obligations that every visitor must follow as long as they’re on the park’s premises. These are as follows:
- Do not feed the animals. Some zoos have a special petting area where visitors can feed non-aggressive animals with food provided by the zoo. You can feed the animals in this area only with the provided food. Failure to obey this rule not only can harm the animals (most animals have diet restrictions), but you also run the risk of getting injured in the process.
- Do not throw objects at the animals or into their enclosures. Stay behind the safety barriers at all times. Even when the animals seem calm and friendly, they are wild animals that are unpredictable.
- Do not leave children unattended. Children do not possess the ability to accurately evaluate risks and they often make dangerous decisions. Being cognizant of where your kids are and what they are doing can aid in keeping them safe.
However, a major injury on any park premises could easily become complicated. It is best to contact an experienced personal injury law firm that can examine the facts and advise you on the best course of action that is available to you.
What to Do in Case of Animal Attack due to Zoo Negligence
If you have been injured at a zoo first seek medical assistance. Then, if possible, try to take pictures of your injuries and the location of the incident. Pay special attention to any evidence that you believe lead to your injuries, for example:
- lack of warning signs when approaching dangerous animals and no protective barriers in front of the main enclosure fence.
- low fences that allowed the animal to jump over
- defective enclosures or open gates that allowed the animal to escape.
- any structural enclosure arrangement that seems an obvious safety hazard.
What If You Are an Employee at the Zoo
As a zoo employee, you are also entitled to claim compensation if the working conditions are unsafe and lead to your injury. Remember, the park is responsible for both their visitors’ and staff’s safety.
If you suffered any injuries while visiting a zoo in California, or while working as a staff member, you should contact our Sacramento area law firm specialized in personal injury law and we will help you understand what type of claims you may have against the zoo. We also handle wrongful death lawsuits. If one of your loved ones lost their lives in similar circumstances we will fight for justice on your behalf.
Our initial consultation is free and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you only pay us if we succeed in our lawsuit and win money for you.