A man was arrested after allegedly taking his infant child into the elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo.
Jose Navarrete (25) overcame several security barriers to gain access to the enclosure with the two-year-old child.
Once the pair were inside the enclosure, an elephant noticed them and approached them, according to the police. The San Diego Police Department said an elephant became angry after seeing the man and child in its habitat.
“The elephant looked like it wanted to go against them, and when the father tried to escape, it dropped the child,” said San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Sgt. Ariel Savage.
There were no injuries to Navarrete, his daughter, or the elephant, SDPD said in a statement.
Dad Arrested Over Reckless Act
Navarrete was charged with child cruelty and was being held in the San Diego County Jail on a $100.000 bond.
The zoo said in a statement:
“Two guests, despite multiple barriers, illegally and intentionally entered a habitat, which is home to our Asian and African elephants. San Diego Zoo security responded quickly to the incident, but the guests had already exited the habitat.”
But zoo staff were not the only ones to state as investigators have asked witnesses to the incident to contact the department. Here are some of the statements:
“A lot of people froze and didn’t know how to take it in, then immediately everyone was pleading with him, and then he became frantic and hysterical,” witness Matthew Passiglia told NBC7. “It was a big roar. The elephant raised its head in the air and its tusks and started trotting toward them.”
This may seem incredible but it’s yet another example of reckless parenting. C’mon people, we should know better. This put the little girl and even the elephant at risk. It was completely unnecessary and dangerous.