Zoos are meant to be an education place for children and families and these attractions have been around for generations. While a trip to the zoo can be a safe activity, there have been incidents where a child is seriously injured in a zoo.
In Miami and other Florida locations, zoos pose a few dangers. The most obvious danger involves children wandering off and potentially falling into an enclosure. Young children are naturally curious about animals and many grow up around cats and dogs. They may not realize that the wild animals in a zoo are more dangerous and likely will bite or attack if a human enters their enclosure.
In addition, zoo enclosures sometimes are structured so it is possible for a child to fall in, since the enclosure is in a lower area than visitors. While zoos are supposed to have secure barriers, not all take proper care to ensure cages, barriers and fences are kept in correct maintenance.
Another issue can occur when animals are part of a live show or petting zoo. While these animals are more trained, they can still act unpredictably and can injure bystanders and visitors.
Zoos, like many public places, can also be places where slip and fall accidents, parking lot accidents and other injuries occur. Zoo owners are expected to take reasonable precautions to ensure that children and other visitors are safe. This may mean owners hire security guards, ensure debris-free and clean walkways, properly maintain facilities, and ensure safe barriers between animals and visitors at all times.
There are several things parents can do when visiting with their children, too:
- Put away cell phones and devices so you can focus on supervision
- Supervise children closely at all times and bring additional adults so each child is properly supervised
- Do not let children wander off alone
- Talk to children about the dangers of wild animals and how to behave around them
- Do not encourage children to tease animals, even with barriers in place
- Do not take selfies or pictures which require you to lean into an enclosure or too close to animals
- Always observe zoo rules and regulations
- Note and report any unsafe conditions you see to the zoo administration
- Consider visiting during less-busy times, when parking lot accidents and other incidents can more easily occur
If you are injured at a zoo, it is important to consult with a Miami personal injury attorney. As a visitor, you have a reasonable expectation the zoo will take precautions to keep you safe. If the zoo is negligent and you are injured as a result, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Animal attacks are terrifying and any zoo injury can leave you with long-term injuries. You may need rehabilitation or may need time away from work as you heal. Your medical expenses may be high and you may need to hire help around the house because your mobility may be affected. Compensation from a Miami premises liability claim may be able to help you pay for these costs so you do not have to pay them yourself.
If you have been injured at a zoo, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Miami premises liability attorney who can help you understand whether you have a claim.