We regret to inform you that this is what the LAPD is forced to spend its time on these days: investigating videos of dumbasses who spank hippos at the zoo, the LA Times reports.
In the 28-second clip, which first came to the attention of the LAPD and zoo staff last week after it circulated on social media, an unnamed man is seen hopping over a railing and sneaking over to a pair of hippos. He reaches down and lays a heavy slap on the butt of the younger hippo, Rosie, startling the animal and causing her mother, Mara, to look up in surprise.
The guy then vaults back over the rail and lets out a celebratory shriek to the camera, waving his arms like he actually did something supremely funny instead of just harassing a pair of helpless animals in captivity or whatever. Good one!
The shittiness of hassling caged animals aside, hippos can actually be pretty dangerous—National Geographic named them one of the world's most aggressive animals, and a wild hippo killed two people in Kenya just last week. The LA zoo hippos are used to interacting with humans and not particularly likely to attack unless, you know, you decide to do something like sneak in and spank them.
"Any unauthorized interaction with an animal is unsafe for the animal and potentially unsafe for the patron," zoo spokesperson April Spurlock told the Times.
According to the Times, the LAPD said the spank doesn't quite constitute animal cruelty since Rosie luckily wasn't injured by the stupid stunt, but it's looking into the possibility of a trespassing charge since it is against California law to enter a zoo enclosure. The zoo has since installed a "No Trespassing" sign at the hippo pen, because apparently it's not already abundantly clear how dangerous and stupid jumping into a wild animal exhibit can be.
Spanking a hippo may not be bad enough to be called "animal cruelty" in the eye of the law, but it is, undoubtedly, a disrespectful and shitty thing to do. If you're going to do something indelibly stupid for viral fame, maybe stick to something that could only hurt yourself and leave the hippos out of it.
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