This is a dad who is going to have a lot of explaining to do when he gets out on bail. The 25-year-old father allegedly carried his two-year-old into the San Diego Zoo’s elephant habitat because he “wanted to take a photo with the African bull elephant,” according to Eyewitness News.
The footage shows the man identified as Jose Manuel Navarrete standing with his back to the enclosure inside the gate.
He does appear to be posing as other zoo guests look on in horror, but turns in time to see an elephant named Shaba running up on him.
Navarrete tries to scamper away from Shaba and crawl back out through the gate and in the process drops his daughter face down in the dirt and frighteningly close to the elephant’s feet.
The entire scene is truly astounding:
Navarrete was arrested by the San Diego PD for child endangerment and is being held on bail for $100,000.
If there’s any good news here, it’s that Shaba is not going to get in trouble for charging zoo guests, unlike what happened to the gorilla Harambe. In that incident, Harambe actually had hold of the child, and their life was in imminent danger.
In this instance, the baby seems to be in more peril in the arms of his father. After all, an African elephant can go a lot faster than that.
Shaba was giving the man a polite warning compared to what she could have done to them both.