This summer Evelina and I visited Kolmården Wildlife Park. It’s one of the largest wildlife parks in Europe. We made the trip with Evelina’s cousin, her husband, and their daughter. It was a day full of fun.
Well, there was an incident at the zoo a few weeks before our planned trip that made me somewhat hesitant about going. The wolves attacked and killed an employee. This was an extremely tragic event, and my condolences go out to her family and friends.
The reason I was hesitant about going is that I was a little bit shocked by this event. Of course, I was shocked that the wolves attacked someone who worked so closely to them for their entire lives. But, more so that the situation arose where it was feasible for an employee to be attacked and killed by the wildlife at the zoo. These are wild animals that are exhibited. It’s not entirely shocking for wild animals to be violent and gruesome at times. That’s part of their being defined as wild animals. I also understand that the employees at this zoo, and likely other zoos, feel very close to the animals they work with, they may even feel safe with them. However, I am not sure I can say that it is reasonable for a person to be alone in a wolf pen. Regardless of training, situations clearly arise that cannot be handled by one person alone. The fact that the rules and regulations of the zoo allowed this event to take place gave me pause. I was not sure I wanted to spend my money in support of such an environment. Things may have only been worse if there were three to five people in the pen that day, but maybe not. What if there was a tranquilizer gun present? If there were more than one tranquilizer gun available? I don’t know the intricate details of the rules and regulations of keeping and caring for wild animals in captivity, but it doesn’t seem like this should happen. I hope the zoo is asking itself now, in the off-season, what were the circumstances that allowed this horrible event to take place, and what can we do to ensure the safety of our staff?
Needless to say visitors were no longer allowed to visit the wolf pen for the summer.
I am glad though that we went. It really was a great day, full of new animals to see at the park, an excellent dolphin show, rollercoaster rides, safari rides through animal enclosures, souvenirs, and, of course, fika.