An idiot dad broke into a zoo elephant enclosure with his young daughter to take a selfie before being charged at.
Jose Manuel Navarrete, 25, thought he and his then-two-year-old daughter could get a closer look at the world's biggest land mammals at San Diego Zoo, California, US.
An elephant quickly made the young father regret his recklessness and make a panicked scramble for safety, accidentally dropping his toddler in the process during the incident in March 2021.
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Well over a year later, Navarrete has now been sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to felony charges of endangerment of a child.
Appearing at San Diego Court last Thursday, the 25-year-old Californian man was also sentenced to nine months in prison but was credited with time served.
Navarrete had hoped breaching the zoo's fence would allow him to grab a better father-daughter snap with a herd of elephants closely behind them.
He hadn't anticipated the instinct of elephants to defend themselves when feeling threatened.
Witness Lori Ortale said: “You hear this woman yelling, ‘Jose, stop. Jose, stop!’ And he jumps the fence and then he goes through the elephant enclosure, and he’s got his little girl with him who, I don’t know, had to be under two.”
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An elephant reacted to their unsolicited entry by charging at the pair which prompted Navarrete to briefly drop his daughter as he climbed back over the fence, narrowly escaping a tragedy.
Neither dad or daughter were injured but Navarrete was later arrested.
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The judge said in court: “I’m not convinced that you’re going [abide by the terms of] probation, given your interview. You indicated you were the victim. Rest assured, you were not the victim, it was your daughter.”
His solicitor Onell Soto told McClatchy News: “He is remorseful and knows he endangered his daughter.”
Navarrete has been ordered to sign on to parenting classes and stay away from the zoo.
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