- 04 Aug 22
The alarm was raised after a customer spotted the bison beside an amusement ride.
Visitors to Tayto Park were forced to shelter in a gift shop after three bison broke out of their enclosure, Darragh McDonagh reported today in the Journal.ie, Irish Examiner and Irish Mirror. The alarm was raised after a customer spotted the bison beside an amusement ride in an incident that occurred in March.
“All visitors were removed from that area and brought into the retail shop, which was the nearest secure building to the animals,” a staff member told an official in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
“The incident was resolved quickly and efficiently by staff following the emergency drills we have in place,” the staff member added in an email to the Government department, which is responsible for zoo licensing.
Customers were confined to the gift shop until the bison herd manager arrived and returned the animals to their paddock with the assistance of zookeepers. The section of fence that the bison broke through was later repaired.
Bison are the largest land-dwelling mammals in their native North America, growing up to 2 metres tall and weighing up to a tonne. They are known to be aggressive and territorial, and can run at speeds of up to 30mph.
Three people have been attacked by bison in Yellowstone National Park in the US since May, prompting park rangers to advise visitors to stay at least 75ft away from the animals at all times.
The incident at Tayto Park is not the first time an animal has escaped from its enclosure at the zoo.
A white stork fled the zoo in June 2021, taking advantage of the hot weather by using thermals — rising columns of warm air. The huge bird, which has a wingspan of about 2 metres, was recaptured seven hours later.
A spokesperson for Tayto Park confirmed that one female bison and two juveniles had escaped from their paddock in March, but said that within two minutes of being notified "there were multiple members of the zookeeping staff implementing our animal escape plan and herding the bison back to its paddock".
Guests were allowed to leave the confines of the retail shop within 10 minutes of the event first being notified, they added.
- Live Review
- 22 Sep 22