In a quest for the best selfie, a woman clamored over a concrete barrier of a jaguar enclosure at Wildlife World Zoo in Arizona in 2019. Despite all of the warnings and the fact that common sense ought to dictate that you just don’t do that, she did.
The jaguar lashed out at her, grabbed her sweater, and ripped open her arm.
The year prior, a drunk man leaped into the lion enclosure at a zoo in India because he foolishly wanted to get up close and personal with the lions.
A walrus killed a zoo visitor who had deliberately entered several animal enclosures in an attempt to get a selfie.
Even after all these incidents made world headlines and should’ve been alarming, another woman recently climbed into the spider monkey exhibit at the El Paso Zoo.
She apparently wanted to feed the monkeys who were perched near a waterfall.
A 38-second video shared on Instagram shows the young woman plopping down on a large rock under the glistening waterfall. She hands one monkey food.
The creature briskly swipes it out of her hand.
You can hear her giggling the entire time. Then she tosses some snacks at them and wades back across the gross green water barrier to climb out of the enclosure.
When she nears the water’s edge, one of the spider monkeys chases after her. But she doesn’t notice it.
A smile crosses her face, one that could stem from the fact that she did something quite unsafe and got away with it. Maybe she was inebriated.
Maybe she’s just plain foolish.
Zoo director Joe Montisano told the El Paso Times that what the woman did was “stupid.”
“She knew what she was doing was wrong. She’s very fortunate that it didn’t have a worse outcome for her or the animals. These are primates. They are strong; they have canine teeth. They can scratch. We don’t interact with them on the daily. And we don’t interact with them without a barrier in between us.”
The woman’s ill-thought-out jaunt to a place where she didn’t belong went viral on social media. The video sealed her fate, since her employer, Lovett Law Firm in Texas, has since fired her and announced its decision – of all places – on social media.
“We learned this morning that the individual who was filmed trespassing in the spider monkey enclosure of the El Paso Zoo was an employee of Lovett Law Firm. She has been terminated. The firm has always been a strong supporter of animals and animal advocacy. We absolutely do not condone this irresponsible and reckless behavior. We support the El Paso Zoo and our thoughts go out to the spider monkeys, Libby and Sunday, and hope that they will recover from this very traumatic experience.”
She also faces potential charges stemming from the incident, since zoo officials said they intend to press charges. NBC affiliate KTSM reports that the woman “allegedly breached security.”
Because of the surprising incident, zoo officials told Today that it plans to alter the barrier to the enclosure to make it even more difficult for people to gain access to the exhibit.
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