A woman who climbed into the African lion exhibit at The Bronx Zoo over the weekend could have been killed, says a zoo spokesperson.
“This action was a serious violation and unlawful trespass that could have resulted in serious injury or death,” the spokesperson said.
The bizarre act was caught on video by an observer filming the lion. In the video, the woman seems calm. She is dancing and talking to the lion while bystanders are heard in the background. The man who took the footage, Hernan Reynoso, was visiting the zoo with his wife and son when he saw the woman in the lion area.
“She just was there, dancing, saying, ‘Hi,’ to the lion and everything, and that was crazy,” Reynoso said. He added that the lion was beginning to get upset and roared at one point during the encounter.
The Bronx Zoo confirmed the incident. “We have a zero-tolerance policy on trespass and violation of barriers,” the spokesperson explained.
Social media had zero tolerance, either. Folks were livid that this woman was taunting a wild animal and not respecting its space.
— Ernestine Caldwell (@StineWell) October 1, 2019
The Lion was like I’m not going to end up like that dead gorilla. Not today Satan
— ❤️ SWEET GIRL SUMMER ❤️ (@powerofpussy17) October 2, 2019
That lion reacted like any other New Yorker. Just staring because he’s seen crazier before.
— Matthew Gellert (@MatthewGellert) October 2, 2019
Real talk: I REFUSE to mourn any one of you fools who walks into the den of a wild animal for the thrill of it. If the lion eats or mauls you, I will be on Team Lion for ridding the world of a fucking idiot. https://t.co/pwbk6ringc
— HawaiiDelilah™ (@HawaiiDelilah) October 1, 2019
— Betilde Garcia ? (@BetildeGarcia) October 2, 2019
It is not known how long the woman was in the lion’s space, but thankfully no one was injured. The woman was escorted from the park and may now face criminal trespassing charges, according to the NYPD.