Ohio zoo presses charges against man who petted cougars

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio zoo officials say they are pressing charges against a man who jumped a fence to pet cougars, then posted his video on YouTube.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says the Delaware County Sheriff's office has charged a suspect with a misdemeanor count of trespassing. Sheriff's spokeswoman Tracy Whited says 35-year-old Joshua Newell was served Friday with a summons to appear in court Wednesday.

The video posted earlier this week shows an outer fence being jumped, then two cougars being petted through another fence as a voice says things such as "Kitty, kitty, kitty."

Columbus Zoo CEO Tom Stalf says in a statement that animal welfare and safety are top priorities. He calls the video "alarming."

A telephone listed to Newell's suburban Gahanna address rang busy Saturday.

ONLINE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51w3hT_XByo

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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