It takes some guts to climb a barrier at the Los Angeles Zoo, no doubt, but then to slap a hippopotamus on it’s rear end! That’s taking things to a whole new level.
Zoo officials learned about the incident after a video started circulating on social media. They immediately reported it to police and posted a “No Trespassing” sign on the exhibit. Doesn’t it seem kind of obvious you shouldn’t climb into a wild animal exhibit at the zoo?
“It is never appropriate for anyone to attempt to have contact or interaction with any animal outside of our staff-led animal experiences,” a zoo spokesperson said.
The video shows a man vaulting a railing and creeping slowly up on two hippos, Rosie and Mara. The man then reached in and slapped Rosie, who is almost 4-years-old. The slap startled Mara, who is Rosie’s mother, and lifted her head as the man ran off and raised his arms in a sign of victory. Rosie didn’t even appear to move and notice the commotion, which is lucky for the not so wise man!
The LAPD aren’t investigating this as an animal cruelty case since the hippo didn’t have any obvious signs of injury. It is being investigating as a case of trespassing, though.
State law prohibits entry into zoo enclosures and the zoo warns people of this on their map, as well as at several zoo access points along the perimeter fence.
“Every animal is different and we don’t know exactly what they’re thinking. But it’s an invasion of trust we work so hard to build with these animals,” the spokesperson said.
The next day, the hippos appeared relaxed and happy as visitors walked by. They were inseparable and nuzzled their snouts together as they lounged underwater and came up to breathe once in a while.
Visitors noticed the sign immediately, however, and wished people had more common sense then to go into an animal enclosure.
“They obviously don’t know that hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal,” a visitor said. “They’re sweet until you mess with their family.”
Original article: Video of Hippo Spanking at L.A. Zoo Sparks LAPD Investigation
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image credit: twitter via @SomeToLaughAt