‘Tarzan’ tries to swing shirtless into monkey exhibit at zoo

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John William Rodenborn

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man who was arrested after allegedly claiming to be Tarzan and trying to get into two exhibits in the Santa Ana Zoo was likely under the influence of drugs at the time, police said Wednesday.

Officers responded to the zoo at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and discovered 37-year-old John William Rodenborn covered in mud, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department. He told them he was the fictional character, Tarzan.

Before authorities arrived, a shirtless Rodenborn had allegedly attempted to get into the zoo’s bird exhibit before he tried to swing into the monkey exhibit, Bertagna said.

Kent Yamaguchi, the director of the zoo, told KTLA that the man was initially walking through the bird aviary, but then walked over to a tree outside the exhibit instead. The tree neighbors the enclosure where the zoo’s monkeys are kept.

Although he was on the back side of the monkey exhibit, the primates apparently never saw him.

Rodenborn was observed by zoo officials climbing a few trees before hiding behind some bamboo, Yamaguchi said.

Police arrived and arrested the man, who was found to be in possession of meth, and was likely under the influence of the drug at the time, according to Bertagna.

None of the animals were disturbed during the incident, zoo officials said.

Source: KTLA