A woman was taken to the hospital after gaining access to the elephant pen at the Denver Zoo and was initially thought to have been electrocuted by an electric fence surrounding the exhibit, zoo officials said.
Local reports stated that the incident occurred around 9 p.m. local time during the attraction's annual Zoo Lights holiday event.
Following news of the woman entering the exhibit the Denver Zoo issued the following statement:
"At around 8:55 p.m., on December 23, 2013, Denver Zoo security was alerted that a disoriented woman was found inside an animal yard in the zoo's Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit. No animals were in the yard at the time. The woman was transported for medical care. Denver police and Denver zoo are talking to guests to determine what happened."
The Denver Fire Department told the Denver Post that woman received a shock from an electric fence, as reported by 9News
However, after that declaration in a post to its Twitter feed, the Denver Police Department said: "No electrocution. Extremely intoxicated female entered elephant pen at zoo & sat down next to electrical wires."
The 10-acre Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit is designed to house up to eight Asian bull elephants in addition to one-horned rhinoceros, clouded leopards, Malayan tapirs, fishing cats, small-clawed otters and flying foxes. The elephants' home has six interconnected habitats and more than 100 gated passageways.
One of the sections of the exhibit, the Chang Pa Wildlife Preserve, was designed with no visible barriers between observers and the animals. Visitors are able to walk along a boardwalk and see elephants, rhinos, tapirs and gibbons, according to the zoo's website.
The Denver Zoo's holiday event, known as Zoo Lights, will continues through Jan. 5, and allow visitors to see 150 animated animal sculptures throughout the zoo's 38 acres.