Teenager in hot water after allegedly climbing into enclosure at Oklahoma City Zoo ‘on a dare’

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials say a teenager is in hot water after allegedly jumping a fence at the Oklahoma City Zoo because of a dare.

On Monday afternoon, employees at the Oklahoma City Zoo learned that a 16-year-old boy intentionally climbed two barriers and got into the Grevy’s zebra habitat yard.

Zoo officials say the zebras in the yard were startled, but no one was injured. The entire situation lasted only minutes and the alleged suspect did not have any contact with the animals.

Zuberi, the Zoo’s male Grevy’s zebra, born on November 29, 2015. Credit: Gillian Lang

Zoo security officers spotted the teen and held him until Oklahoma City police arrived on the scene.

While being questioned, the teenager said that he jumped in the habitat “on a dare” from his friends.

According to the police report, the boy told officers that a girl told him she would give him her number if he jumped in the enclosure.

He was given a ticket for criminal trespassing and sent home with his father.

“The safety and security of both our guests and animals is our priority. Our animal habitats are designed both to keep animals in and to keep the public out, so situations such as this do not occur. The young man put himself in a serious situation, which endangered himself, our animals and staff,” said Barry Downer, deputy director of the Oklahoma City Zoo.

Officials say Grevy’s zebras are the most endangered species of zebra in the wild. In 2008, a survey estimated that the number of Grevy’s zebras had declined to just 2,800 due to hunting and habitat loss.