I’m not a fan of zoos. I like animals just fine. Dogs are great. Cats are pretty cool too. I’m ok with you having a bird, but I don’t want one. But I’ve no interest in getting close to exotic animals of any type.
The harmless motion sparked the attack that happened in front of dozens of school children.
Scottie Brown said what happened to his bookkeeper Kimberly Hillman was a painful lesson to learn.
His staff was taking school children on the drive on a wagon through Zootastic in Iredell County Oct. 27 when a mother arrived late with her children.
The wagons had just left.
“I radioed her and said I saw the lady so Kim said, ‘Well, I’ll just bring them down in my car,’” Brown said. “So she brought them down and when she got out of the car she was walking the kids to the wagon. The wildebeest came over and she shooed it.”
That action caused the wildebeest to be aggressive.
“It hit her, threw her up in the air. She hit (the) ground, it picked her up again and threw her up in the air, and I was getting off the tractor at the time and I ran and got between her and the wildebeest,” Brown said. “It happened because she got out of her car and I guess for that matter, it could have happened to the mother and child? Oh yes, yes.”
She spent a week in the hospital and apparently has some souvenir black eyes from the encounter.
It is important to remember, whenever dealing with wild animals, that “cute does not equal tame.” They are wild animals whose ancestors survived for thousands of years against predators who have far scarier teeth and claws than we do. They may decide that “shoo” actually means “bounce this person up in to the air repeatedly just in case she actually is a threat to me.” Because wild.