A father and his two-year-old daughter are lucky to be unharmed after an angry elephant charged at them at the San Diego Zoo. Bystanders were shocked when the man, identified by police as Jose Navarrete, broke into the elephant habitat with his toddler.
When the elephant saw Navarrete, it let out a loud roar and started charging towards him.
"A lot of people froze and didn't know really how to take it in, then immediately everyone was pleading with him, and then it became frantic and hysterical," witness Matthew Passiglia told KNSD. "It was a big roar. [The elephant] stuck its head up in the air and its tusks, and he started trotting toward them."
Navarrete started to run towards the fence, but he tripped and dropped his daughter.
"I didn't think it was going to end well. There was a moment when the elephant had the option, and luckily, the elephant took a second guess, and there was confusion right there on the floor with them," Passiglia said.
Navarrete managed to pick up his daughter and escaped the enclosure seconds before the elephant reached the fence.
"The tusks actually protruded out the other end," Passiglia added.
Officials said that the elephant was not injured during the incident.
Authorities took Navarrete into custody, and he is facing charges relating to child cruelty. He is being held on a $100,000 bail.
Photo: Getty Images