A tourist was licked, kicked and then fined after getting too close for comfort to a giraffe at a Wisconsin zoo.
Police in Madison said Amanda Hall, 24, of San Luis Obispo, California climbed over one fence and was partially through the second fence of the giraffe exhibit at the Henry Vilas Zoo on Saturday when the incident occurred.
“Wally, a two-year-old, 12-foot-tall giraffe, first licked Hall’s face, and then turned and kicked her in the face. Hall sustained non-life-threatening injuries,” police said in a statement.
Hall told investigators that she climbed into the exhibit area because she loves giraffes. Police hit her with a $686 fine and and a citation for harassment of zoo animals.
Hall told the Los Angles Times she easily stepped over a 3-foot-high barrier where a giraffe put its head through a gap in the secondary fence, ate some grass out of her hand.
“He licked me and then I got a kick to the chin. It was a shock.”
She said she doesn’t think the citation is “fair” and that said she wasn’t trying to harm the animal.
“I got hit in the face by a giraffe. I had to deal with all that. That was a lot of pain to deal with already. I don’t need a fine and this on my record. I don’t ‘harass’ zoo animals. I’m an animal lover,” she told the Times.
Zoo staff told police that giraffes are capable of killing lions. Hall was lucky not to have been more seriously hurt.
“Obviously I won’t do it again,” Hall told the Times. “…I just didn’t think twice about it. I just didn’t think it was a big deal.”
Photo Henry Vilas Zoo/Facebook