The LAPD is investigating a viral video demonstrating a man hopping a Los Angeles Zoo barricade to slap a hippopotamus on the fanny.
The footage (seen above), which went viral on social media, displays a man climbing over a barricade to reach the hippo enclosure and slapping an animal named Rosie on the derriere.
The zoo said the event could have quickly turned dangerous for the man and the hippos.
The hippo does not exhibit much reaction to the smack, which is followed by the man speedily fleeing.
The Los Angeles Police announced they have opened a trespassing investigation into the occurrence.
“The zoo would like to remind everyone that it is never acceptable for a guest to enter the habitat of any animal at the zoo, excluding our staff-supervised animal encounters,” the zoo said in a statement.
“It is a privilege to observe these rare and endangered species, but they are still wild animals and their space must be respected at all times. Our first priority is always to keep our guests, staff, and animals safe,” the statement read.
April Spurlock, a zoo spokeswoman, said entering a zoo enclosure could result in a misdemeanor charge or an infraction.
“Any unauthorized interaction with an animal is unsafe for the animal and potentially unsafe for the patron,” said Spurlock. “It is never appropriate for anyone to attempt to have contact or interaction with any animal outside of our staff-led animal experiences.”
Entering the enclosure of any sizable, wild mammal can be dangerous, particularly one holding a hippo mother and its offspring.
More humans are killed by hippopotamus’ in Africa each year than by any other wild animal.
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