Amanda Hall climbed into the exhibit so she could get up close and personal with a 2-year-old giraffe named Wally. The 12-foot-tall animal first licked Hall and then he booted her in the face.
Hall sustained non-life threatening injuries and Wally was not harmed.
"Imagine if that animal came into your house, how would you feel about that? You would probably be nervous and excited, so an animal is going to have a similar experience, have a similar response. Be a little nervous and excited and that is probably what happened in this case," zoo curator Jeff Stafford told 27 News.
Hall was cited for harassment of zoo animals, an offense that carries a fine of $686.
Things could have been much worse for Hall because giraffes are capable of delivering blows that can kill lions.