SF supe wants stricter penalty for taunting animals

In this photo provided by the San Francisco Zoo, Pike, a polar bear walks out of her pond, while a snow blower shoots snow into the polar bear exhibit, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009 at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco. Approximately 10 tons of ice was turned in snow and shot into the polar bear exhibit to celebrate the first day of winter and to create a fun playground for two of the Zoo's polar bears. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)

January 11, 2010 10:40:36 AM PST
A San Francisco supervisor is proposing stricter punishments for people who taunt or annoy animals at the city zoo or parks.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd decided to introduce the legislation after a man snuck into the zoo's grizzly bear enclosure in late September. The man was not hurt, but also could not be charged with a crime.

Under current law, his actions did not rise to the level of criminal trespassing because he did not intend to stay in the enclosure.

The new rules would explicitly state that taunting or endangering the zoo's animals in any city park is illegal and would raise fines from $500 to $1,000 per incident.