The State Fair of Texas is less than a week into its run, but an animal-related mini-controversy has already erupted.
A Fort Worth woman visiting the fair over the weekend shot a video of her experience in the Children’s Barnyard, where she witnessed a distressed giraffe, pacing frantically and scratching its head at the ceiling.
Stephanie Coon told the Dallas/Fort Worth television station WFAA.com that “[It was] very stressed out, it was pacing, went up to the gate, almost like it was trying to escape and it just went back and forth.”
Coon originally posted the video on the Facebook page for the State Fair, where it was deleted. After she reposted it to her own account, she wrote an update on the giraffe, writing that “she has been returned to her home. Thank you to everyone who spoke up for her and helped give her a voice.”
Meanwhile, officials with the fair maintain the giraffe was in a proper enclosure, and that the animal was in fine health.
“She’s a young giraffe and this was her first show to be at … the environment just wasn’t good for her,” Karissa Condoinas said.
Condoinas added that the giraffe comes from a longtime vendor’s farm in Kansas, and that the animal was “simply overwhelmed by a new environment.”
To be on the safe side, however, the giraffe was released from its fair duty early and was sent back home.