Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 7, 2024

Giraffe Lifts Toddler from Family Truck at Texas Safari

A family's adventure at a Texas drive-thru safari turned terrifying when a giraffe lifted their toddler from their truck.

A giraffe lifted a toddler into the air during a visit to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, prompting the park to implement new safety policies.

Daily Mail reported that the Toten family visited Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose on Saturday. Jason Toten, 24, his fiancée Sierra Robert, 23, and their children were enjoying the drive-thru safari where visitors can feed animals with food provided by the park. The trip took a dramatic turn when their toddler daughter, Paisley, was hoisted into the air by a giraffe using its teeth to grab her shirt.

Giraffe Incident Caught On Video

The incident, captured on video, shows Sierra Robert's immediate reaction as she grabbed Paisley, causing the giraffe to let go. Jason Toten described the moment, saying:

I looked out the back window and I saw the giraffe… and then up she went. My heart stopped, it scared the hell out of me.

Thankfully, Paisley was unharmed and seemed the least concerned by the ordeal, expressing her desire for a giraffe toy and T-shirt from the gift shop afterward.

Jason Toten acknowledged the situation as an accident, explaining that the giraffe likely intended to grab the food bag Paisley was holding. He shared, "It ended up getting her shirt and lifting her out of the truck." Despite the scare, the family realized everyone was safe and unharmed, and they could laugh about it afterward.

Fossil Rim announced a new policy on Wednesday prohibiting guests from riding in the bed of pickup trucks following the viral video of the incident. The park's swift action aims to prevent similar occurrences in the future and ensure visitor safety.

Family Reflects On Scary Experience

Despite the incident, the Totens remain open to visiting Fossil Rim again. Jason Toten noted, "We were having a little family day, just getting out of the house." He emphasized that the event was a freak accident and didn't deter their overall enjoyment of the park.

Sierra Robert faced significant online backlash from viewers who criticized her parenting, labeling her a 'bad mom' for allowing Paisley to ride in the back of the vehicle. In response, Sierra posted a lengthy statement on Facebook defending her actions and highlighting the unpredictability of accidents.

"Let me make something very clear. Anything can happen anytime and anywhere," she wrote. Sierra explained that dangers exist everywhere, whether at a safari park, a playground, or even on a car trip. She refused to teach her child to live in fear, stating, "I refuse to teach my child to be afraid of her own shadow because she could possibly be hurt by something out of her control."

New Safety Policies Implemented

Sierra also clarified her understanding of the park's safety, noting, "I had personally never visited a safari so when I saw that you could ride in the bed of your truck, I assumed that it would be perfectly safe since the park allowed it." She stressed that she did not blame the park or the giraffe for the incident and would not shelter her child from experiencing the world.

Jason Toten reflected on the incident, expressing gratitude for the outcome. "It scared me but after it was all over, we realized everyone was safe and unharmed, and we laughed about it," he said. The family’s quick response and positive outlook allowed them to navigate a potentially dangerous situation without harm.

In conclusion, the Toten family’s unexpected experience at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center highlights both the joys and potential risks of interacting with wildlife. The park's new safety policies aim to prevent similar incidents, ensuring a safer experience for all visitors. Despite facing online criticism, Sierra Robert's defense of her actions serves as a reminder that accidents can happen anywhere and that it's important to balance safety with the desire to explore and enjoy the world.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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