Video Shows Man Being Charged By Elephant After Entering Enclosure With Daughter

A man was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment Sunday after he took his daughter into the elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. An elephant charged, causing him to drop the girl. Fortunately, they were able to escape unharmed. The incident was captured on video.

Video Transcript

- Well have you seen this yesterday? A picture may be worth a thousand words, but this selfie attempt at the San Diego Zoo nearly cost a man and his young daughter their lives. You can hear the screaming right there. The man even dropping the toddler as he tried to escape the enclosure he snuck into.

- CBS 13's Michelle Medina has more on the dangerous encounter.

MICHELLE MEDINA: Spectators at the San Diego Zoo could not believe their eyes when a man entered the elephant habitat carrying his two-year-old daughter.


- Oh.

- Look out!


MICHELLE MEDINA: The elephant approached the intruders, and 25-year-old Jose Navarette scrambled to get out. At one point, he dropped the girl and had to rush back to grab her before it was too late.

KATHERINE DOYLE: an extremely dangerous situation, and no one in their right mind really should ever do this.

MICHELLE MEDINA: Katherine Doyle, director of science, research, and advocacy at the Performing Animal Welfare Society, says, the animal was protecting its space.

KATHERINE DOYLE: the elephant you saw I believe is, Shava. She was responding, really, as an elephant to an intruder. So it looked to me like it was a mock charge, which is really intended to scare off an intruder. However, if Shava thought her message wasn't getting through, it could have turned into a more serious attack.

MICHELLE MEDINA: Navarette reportedly told police he wanted to get a selfie with the elephant. Luckily, no one was hurt. He was arrested and charged with child endangerment.

- No words, right? Police say after Navarette's arrest the child went home with her mom.