Chilling new video shows the moment an elephant charged a 25-year-old man and his toddler at the San Diego Zoo — with the dad dropping his daughter during the harrowing attack.
Jose Navarrete hopped several barriers at the famed zoo on Friday to take a photo with his 2-year-old when the massive bull charged at the pair, footage posted by CBS News shows.
“Jose, stop!” one eyewitness said she heard a woman yelling moments before the incident.
“These guys right away were saying, ‘That elephant is going to charge,’” witness Lori Ortale told the station. “And it did.”
The video shows Navarrete barely making it through the fence at the compound as the elephant closes in on the pair — and then dropping the girl, just inches from the charging animal’s tusks.
“He runs, throws his baby through the gate and it’s seconds from hitting him,” Jake Ortale, another witness, said. “He jumps through the gate, falls on the ground, and then it roared. The baby starts crying and people were just mad at this guy.”
Zoo officials were also not amused by the dangerous prank, saying Navarrete “purposely and illegally trespassed” into the elephant compound.
He was charged with child endangerment and is being held on $100,000 bail pending a March 30 court appearance, CBS reported.
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