Sedgwick County, KDHE investigating illnesses at Tanganyika splash park; park director shares reaction


GODDARD, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Sedgwick County Health Department said they are in the preliminary stages of investigating the Tanganyika Wildlife Park splash pad after several families said their children became sick after visiting the site.

Tanganyika Wildlife Park splash pad, May 2021. (KSN photo)

KDHE said it became aware of the illnesses on Friday, June 18, and began investigating the same day. Tanganyika voluntarily closed the splash park on Saturday after learning of the illnesses.

In a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon, Matt Fouts, Tanganyika Wildlife Park Director, said, “I was notified late Friday afternoon by the county health department with some concerns of a possible connection of illness, and they wanted to take water samples.”

The post went on to say, “After further discussions with the health department toward the end of the day Saturday, I chose to voluntarily (and temporarily) close the splash park until I could ensure the safety of our visitors.”

On Monday, KSN News talked to Fouts about the situation.

“My heart goes out to the parents. I know what it is like to have a kid in the hospital. It’s nerve-wracking, and you just want your kid to be safe, and so my thoughts and prayers are with those people,” Fouts said.

The KDHE said if you have experienced symptoms of fever, diarrhea, or vomiting after visiting the park on or after May 28th, please take a survey by clicking here.

If you live in Sedgwick County and do not have access to a computer to complete the survey, contact the health department via e-mail at or call the COVID-19 line 316-660-1022 and press 1 to leave a message. The county is working to set up a separate non-COVID phone line that will be released later in the week.

If you live outside of Sedgwick County and do not have access to a computer to complete the survey, please contact your local health department.

Adrienne Byrne with the Sedgwick County Health Department said on Monday that so far the county health department has not officially linked any hospitalizations to the splash park, as they continue to investigate.

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