Marshfield's Wildwood Zoo staff locked a visitor inside the zoo and left, TikTok user claims


A visitor was recently locked inside the Wildwood Zoo in Marshfield, Wisconsin.

A zoo visitor was recently locked inside Wildwood Park & Zoo in Marshfield, Wisconsin, according to a TikTok video posted by the visitor which has received more than 2.1 million views.


On May 19, a TikTok user who goes by the name mattafterdark posted a video from inside the zoo indicating he was locked inside.


“I’m literally trapped in the zoo,” Matt said. “They said it closes at six central (time). There was no warning, no public address (PA) system or nothing and I lost track of time by literally a couple minutes. I’m now locked in here.”


Matt lives in Georgia. He said he was visiting the Wildwood Zoo while in Wisconsin for work when he lost track of time. When he went to leave the zoo, he realized the front door, side door and back door of the zoo were all locked.


“There’s no staff,” he said. “I guess they left right at 6 p.m. on the dot. They locked up and were gone.”



In a series of follow-up videos, Matt walked through the zoo unsupervised, videotaping bears, a cougar and a lynx. He also took video of his car in the parking lot which was visible from the locked gate.


Matt said he didn’t try to scale the zoo’s fence because it was covered with barbed wire and he was concerned it was electric. He called police from inside the zoo and waited about 30 minutes for them to arrive.


When police arrived, they had no keys to unlock the gates to get Matt out of the zoo.


“Apparently no one has ever, ever been trapped in the zoo before,” he said. “They didn’t have the keys for it.”


The police officer gave Matt permission to climb over the 10-foot fence to get out of the zoo.


“I found a spot where I could climb; the officer said I could monkey my way out and climb where I’m not getting caught by the barbed wire,” he said. “I still got caught by the barbed wire, but I’m out.”


Matt’s experience illustrates the serious lack of security at the zoo and raises concerns about how police and first responders would respond to an emergency after hours in the locked zoo.


“We made it, I’m alive,” Matt said. “It took like over an hour to get out of the zoo I was trapped in.”


A representative for Wildwood Zoo said they are investigating the incident.