Many children enjoy being able to visit zoos, animal centers and petting zoos to see exotic animals. These environments can offer a false sense of safety though, especially when families are encouraged to engage with wild animals. A family outside of Minnesota claims that their daughter was recently bit by an animal during a photo opportunity at an animal center. An animal bite can be particularly dangerous because it can:
- Cause significant pain and damage
- Expose victims to diseases and illnesses
- Lead to hefty medical bills
Sloths can bite
According to a lawsuit filed by the family, the biting incident occurred when they were visiting a local animal center. The lawsuit alleges that staff gave the family fruit slices and then encouraged them to enter a sloth’s enclosure to feed, pet and interact with it. They also claim that they were given no instructions on how to interact safely with the sloth. It was during this interaction that the sloth apparently bit a small girl on the finger, hitting bone.
The animal center acknowledged that the sloth bit the little girl, but refutes much of the other accusations. Instead it claims that the mother was distracted taking photographs, and that she ignored staff when they asked her to move away from the sloth. After the bite the center apparently refunded the family’s tickets and supposedly offered to pay any medical bills.
An animal bite can cause lasting damage for a victim both physically and emotionally. Many victims struggle to feel safe around animals following an attack, even if they were once avid animal lovers. Securing compensation for things like medical bills, emotional trauma and physical injuries is often a priority for victims and their families, and in Minnesota this is most often accomplished via legal action against parties deemed negligent.