Every so often the news explodes with a story about something awful happening inside of a zoo enclosure. The most recent example of this is when a young child climbed into the enclosure of a gorilla named Harambe. Unfortunately the story doesn't have a happy ending. The zoo officials were forced to kill Harambe to ensure the kids safety.
What spawned from that tragic event were tons of Harambe memes, acting as if her were some kind of marterous figure. The buzz lasted quite a while, proving that there's something about zoo accidents that really captivate the media's attention. Too bad in that case, a beautiful prince was killed.
That's why this story is much better, even though it might have some bad consequences for the guy involved. The story involves a man sneaking into a hippo enclosure and doing something hilariously shocking. No one gets hurt except for maybe the hippo's dignity. Read on to find out exactly what happened.
It all went down when a couple of girls were hanging out at the zoo and ended up taking video of what was about to go down at the hippo enclosure. Whether or not the girls are friends with the assailant is unknown. It is also unknown whether they knew about his nefarious plan or not. Who could have really expected what happened next? What happened next is that he climbed into the hippo enclosure, snuck up to one of the hippos, and slapped it in the rear.
The enclosure belongs to two hippos, Rosie and Mara. The hippo he slapped was Rosie, who is only three years old. Her mother, Mara, was there to witness the whole thing. Once the man slapped Rosie on the bum, Mara turned around right away. It didn't seem to bother Rosie, but what mother wouldn't be disturbed by their child getting slapped in the butt?
The zoo's spokeswoman, April Spurlock, had this to say regarding the bizarre, violating act: "Any unauthorized interaction with an animal is unsafe for the animal and potentially unsafe for the patron. It is never appropriate for anyone to attempt to have contact or interaction with any animal outside of our staff-led animal experiences."
In response, the zoo has put up a "No Trespassing" sign on the exhibit, even though that rule is generally implied. Although it would seem not uncommon for zoos to have these signs put up anyway, just in case, this is the first No Trespassing sign to be placed on an animal exhibit. Obviously the safety of the animal must be maintained, but people entering the enclosures can also lead to lawsuits. Once the zoo was made aware of the video via social media, the zoo notified the authorities immediately.
Many people will see this video as good, clean fun. After all, no one was hurt. Not the hippos, and not the man, who would have been killed if those hippos turned on him. He must not have been aware that hippos are one of the most deadly creatures in Africa. They may look like river cows, but they can be ferocious. As bothersome as a slap in the rear can be, it most likely didn't harm the hippos. What is the issue then?
This type of behavior could lead to copycat crimes. This is especially true in the digital age where everyone is looking to go viral, and get their fifteen minutes of fame. Even though this could easily be passed off as a silly crime, the zoo has to take it seriously, or else someone else is going to climb in there with the intention of doing an even bigger stunt.