August 20, 2009 / 9:12 PM / 10 years ago

Woman sues U.S. zoo over splashing dolphins

A one-month-old dolphin named Zeus swims beside its mother, Mancha, at the Madrid Zoo December 17, 2004. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A woman is suing a Chicago-area zoo for a 2008 fall near a dolphin exhibit, accusing zookeepers of encouraging the mammals to splash water and then failing to protect spectators from wet surfaces, local media reported on Thursday.

In her suit filed earlier this week, Allecyn Edwards said she was injured while walking near an exhibit at Brookfield Zoo, where a group of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins were performing, media said.

Officials “recklessly and wilfully trained and encouraged the dolphins to throw water at the spectators in the stands, making the floor wet and slippery,” but failed to post warning signs or lay down protective mats or strips, the suit said, according to the reports.

Edwards is demanding more than $50,000 for lost wages, medical expenses and emotional trauma from the Chicago Zoological Society and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, which operate the zoo in Chicago’s southwest suburbs.

The suit was filed in Illinois’ Circuit Court of Cook County.

Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Paul Simao

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