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Orangutan scratches intruder who scaled Fresno zoo enclosure

Orangutan scratches intruder who scaled Fresno zoo enclosure
Police say a man was scratched after climbing into the orangutan enclosure at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The orangutan pictured here is from the L.A. Zoo. (ken lubas / Los Angeles Times)

A 24-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after he scaled a 5-foot barrier at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, then entered the orangutan enclosure and was scratched by a primate, police said.

Ramiro Hernandez was scratched several times on his arm but did not require medical treatment, Fresno Police Lt. Joe Gomez said.

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He was arrested on suspicion of trespassing in an enclosed animal cage, which is a misdemeanor, he said.

Police said Hernandez scaled the mesh fence and reached into the enclosure to the orangutan.

That's when the orangutan scratched Hernandez several times.

Several witnesses detained Hernandez until police arrived at the zoo in the 800 block of Belmont Avenue.

He later told police that a friend dropped him off at the zoo.

In 2014, the zoo debuted two Sumatran orangutan babies -- a male named Labu and a female name Ndari.

Built in 2001, the orangutan enclosure is part of the zoo's Sunda Forest.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA.

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