People At The Zoo Behave Like Animals

, , , , | Right | August 24, 2018

(I am a zookeeper and I have worked in the same zoo for the last three years. The zoo is popular but small, so all the zookeepers work with all the animals. This gives us all a personal relationship with them. This story takes place on a Saturday; we are pretty busy. I am walking across an open area where most of our primate enclosures are, including the home of a pair of beautiful but very dangerous gibbons. As I’m walking across, I look over, and to my surprise I see two members of the public — a father and his twelve-ish-year-old son — on the wrong side of the safety fence. I sprint over.)

Me: “Hey! Excuse me! What are you two doing? Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?!”

(The two turn around, and I see that not only are they pushing bananas through the fence, but they are also physically touching the male, who is known to everyone for his tendency to grab, bite, and just generally hurt people!)

Father: “Oh, sorry, are we not meant to be here? He just looked so cute and was coming right up to the fence at us!”

Me: “No! Please, come away right now! Have you any idea how dangerous he is!? He has hospitalised people before!”

(It’s a small exaggeration, but I needed to get them back, and he has badly hurt people before.)

Me: “What were you thinking? There are warning signs everywhere!”

(The father and son jumped back over the chest-height, fully-wired safety fence, gave a half-hearted “sorry,” and wandered off like nothing had happened. I was stood in shock at what I had just witnessed, then ran to alert my superiors. They warned the father but didn’t ask him to leave. The kicker? When he was talking to other members of staff later — me included — he was happily boasting about how he comes in every couple of months, and always goes and gives the cute gibbon a stroke! I have never seen anything so irresponsible as to not only jump over the safety fence to touch highly dangerous animals, but take his twelve-year-old with him! Please, people, warning signs and safety fences are there for your own safety!)

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