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VIDEO: Mentally Ill Woman Hops Fence at L.A. Zoo, Pets Elephants

The L.A. Zoo just spent $42 million on a snazzy new sanctuary to contain its elephants -- but it seems the sanctuary's fencing might not be enough to contain excited onlookers from crossing in the opposite direction.

Yesterday, an unidentified woman who was reportedly off her meds "went in to kind of check the elephants out," Branden Adams, a nice-mannered kid who witnessed the break-in, tells KTLA. "She comes out and she says, 'I'm going to go pet the elephants now.' And she goes and she started touching the elephants and seeing what they were doing."

Indeed she does:

Adams' cellphone video shows the elephant-ite hopping the cord, ambling around the desert habitat for a spell -- then finally getting her pet on, albeit cautiously. KTLA reports that the particular beasts subjected to her strange love -- for five full minutes! -- were Jewel and Tina, the zoo's newest elephants. (They probably would have preferred a pet from Billy, the third elephant on the block. More on that sexual tension, here.)

We've called the zoo's spokeswoman for comment. But according to the Times, "officials... felt the barriers protecting the recently expanded elephant exhibit were adequate to safeguard the animals and visitors."

After being urged out by staffers, the woman was detained by police at the scene. They opted to send her to the hospital, however, when they noticed something wasn't quite right, mentally.

At least she got in her final hoorah, right? And now gets to be the unnamed hero of whichever wide-eyed kids were lucky enough to be at the L.A. Zoo yesterday.

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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