The kids and I went to the Oklahoma City Zoo over the weekend, our first visit since last fall. I mention our last visit only because it was so, um, memorable. Some family was in from out of town so a bunch of us decided to go to the zoo. It was hot, but we were having fun until a near miss with a tram. One was coming up behind us so we all moved to the side of the road. At the time, my then 10-month-old son was asleep in his stroller. As the tram passed us, it kept getting closer and closer to the curb where we were stopped waiting for it to pass. We grabbed all of the little ones who were on foot and pushed them up against the wooden fence, but I couldn’t get the stroller up over the curb in time. The tram hit it. The stroller, with my sleeping son strapped in, was tilted at a 45-degree angle, lodged between the tram’s wheels and the curb. The tram driver braked a few times but fully stopped only after a lot of hollering from tram riders. I distinctly remember one man yelling, “Stop! You’re running over a baby!”
A couple of men hopped off the tram and helped unbuckle my son and dislodge the stroller. We were all unhurt, and my son was oblivious. The tram driver took off again, without ever leaving the driver’s seat. More than anything, that infuriated me. Accidents happen. I understand that. But the people I complained to at guest services just wanted to know the driver’s name (wouldn’t know, he didn’t come introduce himself) and if the stroller needed replacing. My mother and brother-in-law who also complained were met with the same apparent indifference. When I called the then-zoo director a few days later, he’d heard nothing of the incident but promised to look into it. One suggestion myself and other family members offered up was to have a zoo employee riding at the back of the trams.
When we hopped on a tram on Saturday, the tram driver informed us of a “safety conductor” riding at the rear of the back car. Safety indeed.
- Christy Watson