The Toronto Zoo's visitor safety report is an underappreciated masterpiece.
The City’s different departments and agencies produce a lot of reports. Most of them aren’t the least bit exciting—and nor should they be.
But once every six months, the City releases its masterpiece: a work of bureaucratic majesty so deftly balanced on the knife edge between professionalism and utter disdain that it demands a wider audience. We speak, of course, of the Toronto Zoo’s visitor safety report.
You can read the whole thing for yourself, if you want, but here are the good parts.
During the six-month period beginning on January 1, the Zoo recorded 47 visitor accidents, which is slightly less than the number it recorded during the same period last year (49).
And here are the zoo’s descriptions of the various ways people managed to injure themselves.
There were 12 Contact related accidents. Five children were injured after walking into signs, logs, rocks or glass doors. One adult was hit by a sign that had tipped over due to high winds. Four visitors cut their hands, on various objects. One adult had his son accidentally poke him in the eye with a branch. The last accident involved a visitor who bumped their head while riding the Zoomobile.
So, more than 10 per cent of injuries at the Toronto Zoo this year have resulted from kids walking into stationary objects. This must be why some people put their children on leashes.
There were eight General Mishaps. [This is the zoo's official term for accidents that don't fit into its accident-classification system.] Four children were roughhousing with other children and collided with each other or objects causing injury. The remaining four injuries were single in nature. One child stuck a raisin up her nose.
Even in a facility filled with hundreds of dangerous animals, the most dangerous animal of all is still…man! Or, at least, man’s children. And raisins.
There were no animal-related injuries during this reporting period, but in 2012 a child was nipped by a stingray, and an adult was bitten by a nurse shark.