Splash park closes after officials investigate illnesses

June 20, 2021 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A splash park at a wildlife attraction in the Wichita area has closed after health officials reported illness concerns and several families said their children became sick after visiting the site.

Tanganyika Wildlife Park’s Director Matt Fouts said in a Facebook post that he decided to close the attraction after discussions with the Sedgwick County Health Department. He said the park in Goddard is working to fix a filtration system problem with the splash park, according to The Wichita Eagle.

“The splash park is a new adventure for us animal people, and it was an issue we could not foresee,” Fouts said in the post. “We plan to notify everyone as soon as we have a set date for opening.”

Officials at the wildlife park and the county health department did not immediately respond to the newspaper’s questions on Sunday.


Cameron Vandusen said his 4-year-old daughter, Kennedy, started throwing up Saturday and was taken to a hospital — one day after visiting the splash park. Family members said doctors were taking blood samples and testing the girl’s stool.

Kennedy’s grandmother, Lori Swank, said four family members who went to the splash park Friday were also throwing up and having diarrhea on Saturday.

Hannah Alkhub said she took her 9-month-old and 6-year-old daughters to the splash park with a friend and her daughter on June 11, and workers appeared to be doing repairs on the splash park that day. Both her daughters started to get sick the next day.