Woman gets licked, kicked in face by giraffe after climbing into exhibit

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A California woman was cited after climbing into a giraffe enclosure at a Madison, Wisconsin, zoo and then getting licked and kicked in the face by a young giraffe.

Amanda Hall, 24, of San Luis Obispo, California, was visiting the Henry Vilas Zoo when she climbed over one fence and was partially through a second fence that surrounds the giraffe exhibit when Wally, a 2-year-old, 12-foot-tall giraffe licked Hall's face, and then turned and kicked her in the face, according to a police report.

Police say Hall told them she climbed into the enclosure because "she loves giraffes."

Hall suffered non-life threatening injuries. Zoo staff told police that giraffes are capable of killing lions, and Hall was lucky not to have been more seriously injured.

She was cited for harassment of zoo animals, which carries a $686 fine.

Wally, along with 5-year-old Eddie, came to the zoo last spring after Henry Vilas Zoo's previous giraffes, who were on loan from the Minnesota Zoo, were returned, according to a news release.

Wally and Eddie are reticulated giraffes, which is a subspecies of the mammal named for its distinctive pattern of brown, regular, box-shaped spots with white lines in-between. The release says each giraffe has a unique pattern of spots, similar to a human's fingerprints.

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