Caitlin O’Kane – CBS News
A woman risked her life when she climbed into an enclosure at the Bronx Zoo in New York and appeared to taunt a lion inside. Police are still looking for the intruder, according to CBS New York.
Video of the woman’s reckless romp with a lion was posted on Instagram over the weekend. The woman is seen waving and dancing before the large male lion as it stares at her from just feet away. Commotion could be heard in the background of the video, as people outside the exhibit questioned why the unidentified woman was inside.
A small moat separated the woman from the lion, but the disturbing video shows there is little space between them. The Bronx Zoo said the incident occurred on Saturday, and that the African lion could have killed the woman.
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“This action was a serious violation and unlawful trespass that could have resulted in serious injury or death,” the Bronx Zoo said in a statement obtained by CBS New York. “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.”
On Tuesday, visitors at the zoo were perplexed as to why someone would do such a thing. “I think it’s absolutely crazy. I don’t know why anyone would think to climb over there,” one visitor told CBS New York.
“That’s somebody who’s very troubled,” another said.
“I hope that nothing bad happens to the lion because of what this woman did,” another woman said. The zoo and lion exhibit remained open.
In 2016, a gorilla was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into its enclosure. The 3-year-old boy spent a terrifying 10 to 15 minutes in the enclosure with Harambe, an endangered gorilla, who grabbed and dragged the child.
Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard said the zoo’s dangerous animal response team decided the boy was in “a life-threatening situation” and that they needed to put down the 400-pound-plus male gorilla. Some animal activists felt the killing of Harambe was the wrong decision, and online petitions and Facebook pages were created.