On the first day of the spring season, a group of locals are returning from a trip to the wild park on the edge of the city.
They are enjoying a stroll through the park, when suddenly the sound of someone banging on the gate and then shouting: “Come on in, come on in”.
The group looks at each other, then turns back to see a man wearing a ski mask, with his head covered and a rifle in his hand.
“He said, ‘I need you guys to come in, this is my gun’,” said Sarah, who was visiting from England.
She said they didn’t know who he was, but they knew he needed help.
“I’m not sure what he’s going to do with it, but he said, “I’m going to shoot you”.”
I looked up and said ‘What do you mean, you need to come to the park?’
“The man then pointed the gun at her.”
What do I need to do to get shot?” she asked.”
We said, let’s go, let us go,” said Sarah.”
The guy went, ‘No, you’re not going to go, you can’t go.
I need you to come here’.
“Her friend, who had to hide in the woods after being attacked, was also on the same mission.”
There was a lot of yelling, and the guy was screaming at me to come back.
I went back, and then the guy went back and yelled at me again,” Sarah said.”
So I went up to him, and he grabbed the gun and said, you know, ‘If you need any help, I need help’.
“She said she had no idea what was happening, and was terrified by the situation.”
It was pretty terrifying, I don’t think I could have handled it.
I don.t think I would have done anything about it.””
We’ve been coming to the zoo for years and years,” said Laura, a tourist from England, who arrived from Belgium in the summer.”
When I came to Waterloo I thought it was a really great place, but I’ve been here three years now, and I haven’t had any issues.
“All I wanted was to see the zoo.”
“I’ve been wanting to go here for years.
I think I’d probably like it better if we were just staying here.”
Laura said she saw the man with the gun “twice” and once again, “in different places”.
“When it happened I was pretty scared, because he was in the forest.
But I had to get him down.
I thought I’d give him a slap, and that would be it.”
But he just kept coming back.
And I was like, ‘You’ve got to do it, you’ve got no choice’.””
Then I was scared to death because he’s got a gun, and we had to be in there, and if I’m not going, you don’t get out of here.
“The man with a gun was later arrested and charged with attempted murder, and charged in court with trespassing, harassment, and public nuisance.
The man who had called Sarah “bitch” was also charged with assault and battery.
The Wild Life Park at Wellington, on the other side of the capital, was established in 1884.
The park is surrounded by woodland and has a number of wildlife, including a wild bear, grey wolf and the northern panda.”
That’s probably my favourite thing about it,” said a visitor, who did not want to be named.”
Wildlife is always around, so it’s really nice to have that in the city.””
It’s not like you’re going into a zoo, you are there to be with nature.
“The park was closed to the public during the summer, and reopened in August.”
Some of the things that we did, like we did some bushwalking, and just walking around the forest and taking in the wildlife, it was really nice,” said resident Sue.”
You can see things from the other end of the road.