The safety rails are there for a reason: to keep you safe. Apparently that didn’t matter to a teen who hopped the fence in an attempt to get close to a rhino at the Denver Zoo on Friday, August 18.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time someone has hopped the fences at the Denver Zoo. Back in April, a grown man decided it’d be a good idea to climb the fence and touch a sleeping tiger. What possessed the man to do that, we’ll never know. At least with the more recent incident involving a teenager and a rhino, the Denver teen had the common sense to stay far away from the massive animal. What he lacked is the sense to stay behind the safety rail.
The incident occurred around 1:15 p.m. on Friday, August 18, in the Clayton F. Freiheit Elephant House. The teen hopped a three-foot, six-inch glass railing that’s there to keep the public away from a walkway meant for staff members. He did not interact with the rhino or go into the enclosure, however the zoo is taking this incident very seriously.
“The safety of Denver Zoo’s guests, animals and staff is our top priority,” zoo officials said. They continued,
We take these matters very seriously. Clearly identifiable barriers, including signage and fencing, are in place throughout the Zoo and our safety officers are onsite 24 hours a day. Trespassing into an exhibit area is a punishable crime under Denver City Code, and law enforcement is contacted immediately should it occur.”
According to zoo officials, the ambitious teen has been charged with trespassing and could face a fine or even jail time. He has also been banned from the zoo for life.
So, if you’re wanting to get a good photo of the animals, I suggest you don’t trespass on zoo property and that you bring a camera with a long lens. Trust me, the Instagram post is not worth it.