Ohio man must spend two days in jail for petting zoo cougars – Metro US

Ohio man must spend two days in jail for petting zoo cougars

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – An Ohio man who posted a video of himself petting cougars at a Columbus zoo appealed no contest to a trespassing charge on Wednesday and has to spend two days in jail and pay more than $200 in fines, court documents said.

Joshua Newell, 35, jumped an outer fence to gain access to another fenced-in enclosure and called the cougars to him in order to pet them, the documents said.

Newell then posted a nearly two-minute video of the encounter on YouTube where he enticed the animals by calling “Here, kitty, kitty” and “That’s a good kitty.”

Newell was charged last week with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to four days in jail, with two days suspended.

A representative for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was not immediately available for comment.

This is the second time this year that a zoo patron in the state was 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.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer in Cleveland; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Andrew Hay)