NEWS
22/03/2021 07:43 GMT

Watch Horrifying Moment Dad Takes Toddler Into US Zoo Elephant Pen — And Animal Charges

The father dropped his daughter as he raced away. He's later arrested.

A shocking video has been released showing the moments when a judgment-challenged young father walked into the elephant habitat at the San Diego Zoo with his 2-year-old daughter in his arms.

The 25-year-old parent apparently planned to take a cellphone selfie with the zoo’s African bull elephant. But the mammoth beast had another idea, and ran at the dad and his daughter as it trumpeted. 

The flustered dad raced to slip back out of the enclosure, but dropped his daughter on the way out in video posted by ABC News. He grabbed her again and they both managed to escape as the crowd screamed and yelled: “Watch out!”

He was quickly arrested by police on suspicion of child endangerment

Jose Manuel Navarrete was being held on $100,000 bail for investigation of child endangerment, ABC News reported. He was scheduled to be arraigned on March 30. After the arrest, his daughter went home with her mother.

Witness Lori Ortale told KSWB-TV she heard a woman yelling “Jose, stop” before a man jumped the fence into the elephant enclosure.

“These guys right away were saying, ‘That elephant is going to charge,’ and it did,” Ortale said.

After the man and his child escaped, witness Jake Ortale said, “The baby starts crying and people were just mad at this guy.”