- The unidentified 25-year-old was trying to take a photo of his 2-year-old daughter with an elephant.
- He dropped her while trying to climb back out but both left uninjured, AP noted.
- The father has been arrested on charges of child endangerment and trespassing in a zoo enclosure.
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A father who brought his 2-year-old daughter into the elephant habitat at San Diego Zoo to take a photo has been arrested on charges of child endangerment and trespassing in a zoo enclosure.
The unidentified 25-year-old climbed into the enclosure holding his child on Friday to take a photo with an African bull elephant, San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Officer Darius Jamsetjee told The San Diego Union Tribune.
Police Sergeant Ariel Savage told NBC San Diego that one of the elephants in the habitat seemed like it wanted to charge at them.
The father dropped his daughter as he tried to climb back out, but eventually, they both left uninjured, the Associated Press added.
One witness, Matthew Passiglia, told NBC San Diego that an elephant head-butted one of the barriers after they escaped.
“The elephant is screaming and charging him. He’s unaware of what’s going on and barely got out of there with his life and his child’s life,” the witness continued to tell the San Diego outlet.
Police were called to the scene at around 4.20pm by staff after the man carried the 2-year-old through the two fences into the compound, one of which is electrified, according to ABC10.
San Diego Zoo spokesman Andrew James said that the man and his daughter made it out of the exhibit before zoo security could arrive.
No elephants were harmed and police are investigating if drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident.