Man faces jail time after jumping zoo fence to pet cougars

A man who jumped over a fence to pet cougars at an Ohio zoo is now facing jail time after video of his trespassing went viral.

Joshua Newell, 35, was charged with criminal trespassing after posting an incredible video of himself petting cougars at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium last week.

The video posted to YouTube, shows Mr Newell jump an outer fence to gain access to another fenced-in enclosure, before calling the cougars to him.

Mr Newell can be heard enticing the animals by calling "Here, kitty, kitty" and "That's a good kitty," as he touches them.

The video which has been viewed close to 360,000 times on YouTube, led to Mr Newell being charged by local police.

Mr Newell entered a plea of no contest to a trespassing charge on Wednesday and has to spend two days in jail and pay a hefty fine.



However Mr Newell seemed unfazed by the prospect of jail time, taking to twitter to say he thought his video was the perfect advertisement for the zoo.

"2 Days in Jail and $350 Fine for petting my #cougars. #TheColumbusZoo got paid $350 for perfect advertisement," Mr Newell tweeted with a picture of him wearing a t-shirt that said ‘cougar love’.

FULL VIDEO: Man jumps zoo fence to pet cougars

This is the second time this year that a zoo patron in the state of Ohio has been charged with trespassing.

In June, Michelle Schwab was sentenced to a year of probation for a similar charge after dropping her two-year-old son into a cheetah exhibit at the Cleveland zoo in April.

There have also been plenty of other close animal encounters at zoos and national parks around the world, like the time when this woman jumped into a crocodiles enclosure at a Mexican zoo.

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