Giraffe Grabs Toddler from Truck During Wildlife Tour, Then Drops Her Into Mom’s Arms – See the Video

Giraffe Grabs Toddler from Truck During Wildlife Tour, Then Drops Her Into Mom’s Arms – See the Video

“My heart stopped," said the 2-year-old girl's dad

A toddler in Texas was just lifted in the air by an unexpected handler.

Paisley Toten, 2, visited the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas, on Saturday, June 1, with her parents, Jason Toten and Sierra Robert. However, the visit took a turn when a giraffe picked up the small child, per Robert’s Facebook page.

“So we took a trip to fossil rim today and it was a blast buttttt…. I would discourage you from riding in the back of the truck 😬,” Robert captioned the post.

During the family’s visit to the wildlife center, they drove around a visitor path where the animals roam free and are allowed to be fed by visitors. (At the time of their visit, per the center’s site, visitors were permitted to ride in the bed of a truck if an adult was present and everyone was safely inside the vehicle.)

While they were driving, much to the family's surprise — and horror — the animal pulled the toddler by her shirt collar and picked her up on the bed of her parents’ pickup truck.

<p>Lindsey Merriman via Storyful</p> A giraffe grabs a 2-year-old

Lindsey Merriman via Storyful

A giraffe grabs a 2-year-old

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As it turned out, the incident was caught on video by another family in a nearby car.

“My daughter was recording a giraffe eating out of people’s hands and dipping its head in sunroofs,” Lindsay Merrirmen, who took the footage, told Storyful. “We were 3 cars behind a red truck and saw the Giraffe accidentally grab a little girl’s shirt along with the food and lift her from the bed of the truck.”

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Jason told CBS affiliate KWTX-TV that his family had stopped to feed the giraffes when he turned around and saw the giraffe grab his daughter.

“Paisley was holding the bag, and the giraffe went to go get the bag, not her, but it ended up getting her shirt too and picked her up,” Jason told the outlet, adding, “As soon as she went up, her mom yelled, ‘Hey!’ and the giraffe let go.”

“She wasn’t even scared,” he told McClatchy News — but couldn't say the same for himself. "My heart stopped," he said. "It scared the hell out of me."

Fortunately, after the animal let go, Paisley fell into her mother’s arms and both were unharmed.

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After Paisley’s unexpected encounter, her parents treated her to a toy from the gift shop — a toy giraffe. As for the future, the family told KWTX-TV that they do plan to return to the park again.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of a giraffe


Stock image of a giraffe

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In a statement on behalf of a wildlife center, a spokesperson said they were "recently made aware of an incident involving one of our giraffes that occurred this past weekend."

"The incident was first reported to us on Monday June 3rd. The safety of our guests and animals is always of utmost importance to us. Although an incident like this has never occurred here previously, we are taking immediate action to make sure it won't happen again," the statement read. "Effective immediately Fossil Rim will no longer be allowing guests to ride through the park in truck beds."

The statement continued, "Fossil Rim offers a variety of experiences guided by knowledgeable staff so guests can continue to have up-close and memorable animal encounters, and support our mission to save threatened and endangered species."

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