A woman entered the lion enclosure at the Bronx Zoo over the weekend and was caught on video dancing for the male lion, who glared at her antics.
The woman, who was not identified, somehow made it over a 14-foot moat to access the animal’s habitat, and managed to make it out alive despite her proximity to the big cat.
A bystander filmed the Sept. 28 incident and shared it on Instagram. In the video, the woman can be seen looking at the lion and dancing around as the animal looked on.
VIDEO: Woman at Bronx Zoo taunts lion
The Bronx Zoo condemned the woman’s actions, saying the zoo has “zero tolerance” for trespassing.
“On Saturday, September 28, Bronx Zoo staff received a report that an individual had climbed over a visitor safety barrier at the African lion exhibit at the Bronx Zoo. This action was a serious violation and unlawful trespass that could have resulted in serious injury or death. Barriers and rules are in place to keep both visitors, staff and animals safe. We have a zero tolerance policy on trespass and violation of barriers.”
The NYPD was reportedly in touch with the zoo and a criminal trespass report was expected.
As the video made the rounds online, comments accumulated that ranged from amusement to outrage.
“A squirrel has a bigger brain then this one,” said one Instagram user. “I hope she does some jail time! If attacked they would have to put animal down!” and “This isn’t ok or funny….smh..always has to be one tool…she should have been a snack….would have served her right…bad example for the kids seeing this..” All comments seem to conclude that this was not a smart choice.
This woman is not the first person to jump into the zoo enclosure of a wild animal. Several others have done the same for clout on social media and their 15 minutes of fame. Unfortunately, such stunts can cost captive animals their lives.
People reported that on May 22, 2016, a man climbed into the lion’s enclosure at the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo. He took off his clothes and approached the animals, as the man came in contact with the lions, zookeeper had to shoot both of the animals.
Perhaps the most tragic example is that of Harambe, a 17-year-old male Western lowland silverback gorilla who was shot dead by an employee at the Cincinnati Zoo when a small child crawled over the barrier and fell into the enclosure.