A woman’s close encounter with a testy giraffe at a Wisconsin zoo ended with a smackdown. Giraffe 1, Ignorant Woman 0. The so-called ‘animal loving’ gal crossed over a prohibited barrier in order to have some one-on-one time with the long-necked ungulates, and for her troubles, got a lick first, followed by a prompt kick in the chops.
Reports the Los Angeles Times: “Madison police cited Amanda Hall, 24, of San Luis Obispo, on suspicion of harassment of zoo animals after officials said she crossed a barrier to get near the pen of a 2-year-old giraffe named Wally at the Henry Villas Zoo in Madison on Saturday afternoon. The citation carries a $686 fine, according to police.”
Hall walked away with a fat lip, requiring 10 stitches to close, and a citation from the zoo. Another male giraffe named Eddie was in the pen as well, but zookeepers said Eddie was not very impressed by Hall’s trespassing, and stayed away. Wally, the younger and more curious of the pair, came over and gave the intruder a welcoming “kiss,” then turned around and booted her.
Zoo officials say Hall climbed a pair of fences to get at the giraffes. Hall disputes that however, saying she simply “stepped over” a 3-foot fence, and never climbed the second. Hall says Wally put his long neck through the bars and ate grass from her hand that she had plucked from the ground.
“He had some grass and nuzzled my head,” Hall said. “He licked me and then I got a kick to the chin. It was a shock.”
Hall says she doesn’t blame the zoo, though she thinks she should not have been fined.
“I was not trying to harm the giraffe. I just don’t think it’s fair,” Hall said, referring to her penalty for “animal harassment.”
“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 argued, admitting however that she “stepped over the line.”
“Obviously I won’t do it again,” she said. The barricade is “there for a reason. I just didn’t think twice about it. I just didn’t think it was a big deal.”
Hall’s actions come a few weeks after a Michigan woman who stuck her hand into a lion cage – losing the end of one of her fingers in the process – wanted the zoo to take the lion’s share of the blame for her stupidity. The “she said, zoo said” story went viral. For more on that see: