Viral video: Giraffe lifts 2-year-old into the air during safari ride

GLEN ROSE, Texas (AP) — A Texas family got a brief scare when a nibble from a giraffe turned a 2-year-old’s safari visit into an airborne adventure.

Paisley Toten was in the bed of a pickup truck on June 1 when her family drove through the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, where visitors can see exotic animals such as zebras, giraffes and sable antelope, and feed some of them from their car.

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The family had stopped to feed a giraffe when it grabbed Paisley’s shirt with its mouth and lifted her several feet. Paisley’s mother was in the pickup bed with her and shouted, prompting the giraffe to drop the toddler into her arms unhurt. Video of the encounter taken from the car behind went viral. The girl’s family also shot their own video.

“Paisley was holding the bag and the giraffe went to go get the bag, not get her, but ended up getting her shirt too and picking her up,” Jason Toten, the girl’s father, told television station KWTX.

“My heart stopped, my stomach dropped … it scared me,” Toten said.

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The family then took the girl to the shop and bought her a toy giraffe.

Park rules when the family visited allowed riding in an open truck bed as long as an adult was riding with any children. The park on Thursday changed its safety rules to require everyone to stay inside their vehicles with doors closed.

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