KEY POINTS

  • Armond Bullocks climbed over the zoo's fence on Wednesday
  • He was already on the top of the enclosure's fence when the staff stopped him
  • Authorities cited Bullocks for trespassing and gave him a $263 fine

A father has been arrested in a Milwaukee zoo after trying to get into an enclosure containing a pair of African elephants. 

At Milwaukee County Zoo's outdoor exhibit, 27-year-old Armond Bullocks reportedly climbed over a fence when the zoo was about to close for the day on Wednesday.

Zoo staff members arrived and stopped Bullocks once he began climbing the second fence, authorities said. This fence is what separated him from the two African elephants in the enclosure.

"The individual was stopped from going where he really could have gotten hurt," Tim Wild, curator of large mammals at the zoo, said as per the New York Post.

Bullocks almost reached the inside as witnesses saw him on top of the exhibit's fence with his legs dangling toward the elephants, WISN 12 explained, citing Deputies of Milwaukee County's Sheriff.

Deputies cited Bullocks for trespassing and gave him a fine of $263, WDJT-TV said in a report.

Bullocks reportedly told the investigators that he had pulled the stunt to "impress his daughter." But according to zoo officials, what Bullocks did could have ended worse for him than how it did in the end.

"There are a number of accounts of people who work with elephants who have been killed or badly injured by them," Wild said.

The population of African elephants has been dwindling due to the shrinking of their habitats and poachers killing them one by one. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) claimed that the situation has deteriorated drastically.

Because of this, the African elephant is now deemed critically endangered, which is the stage right before extinction. In fact, according to IUCN, its population has decreased by more than 60 percent over 50 years.

There used to be more than 1.5 million elephants that lived peaceful lives in Africa. Unfortunately, when their population was surveyed in 2016, experts found that there were only around 415,000 of them left.

There are around 400,000 African elephants in the wild today There are around 400,000 African elephants in the wild today Photo: AFP / MONIRUL BHUIYAN