San Francisco Zoo visitor sneaks into grizzly cage

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

SAN FRANCISCO (WFLX) - Authorities say a man sneaked into the grizzly bear exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo while the bears were home.

Lucky for the man, another zoo visitor alerted staff. Employees fired a warning shot to keep the bears away from the man before securing them inside their dens.

The head of the zoo says these animals are nothing to mess with. "Our animals here are wild. They are not pets; they are not circus animals," said Tanya Patterson, the zoo's executive director. "We keep them out of the wild in some situations, so that one day they may return to the wild."

A zoo official said that the man was conscious, but unresponsive when he was rescued. He was taken to the hospital for an evaluation.

Officials say he was also arrested.