A father carried his 2-year-old daughter as he entered the San Diego Zoo’s elephant habitat, video showed.
The father turned his back on the elephant but then ran towards the fence when the elephant charged, McClatchy News previously reported. He briefly dropped his daughter before pulling to safety as the elephant roared and onlookers yelled at them to “get out”, the video showed.
“It’s an extremely dangerous situation, and no one in their right mind should ever think of doing this,” Catherine Doyle of the Performing Animal Welfare Society told KFMB at the time.
On Thursday, Sept. 15, 25-year-old Jose Manuel Navarrete was sentenced to four years of formal probation and nine months in prison, his attorney told McClatchy News.
He was also ordered to stay away from the San Diego Zoo, attend parenting classes and avoid contact with his daughter.
In March 2021, San Diego police arrested Navarrete on suspicion of child cruelty after he was accused of taking his daughter into the exhibit. Zoo officials said he passed through several barriers to enter the enclosure.
No one was injured in the incident.
“He is remorseful and knows he put his daughter in danger,” Onell Soto, his attorney, told McClatchy News in an email.