Woman taunts and dances in front of African lion at Bronx Zoo after climbing over safety barrier
The entire incident was captured on video by a bystander, and it is currently unclear if any legal action has been taken against the woman.
A video making the rounds on the internet shows the moment a woman climbed into the lion's enclosure at the Bronx Zoo and began taunting the big cat, much to the shock of bystanders in the area.
In the footage, which was uploaded on Instagram, the unidentified woman can be seen standing a mere few feet away from an African lion. She is believed to have gotten inside by bypassing a low wooden safety barrier.
She walks up to the lion and stares at it at almost point-blank range, with many others near the enclosure gasping in shock. The lion, which appeared calm and curious, watches her carefully while she danced near him.
Two other videos of the incident show the woman playfully waving at the lion and trying to catch its attention. "She shouldn't be doing that," one woman can be heard saying in the clip, while another asks, "Is someone with her?"
Social media slammed her for her thoughtless actions and petitioned for her to be charged.
"Charge her for trespassing and Ban her from all New York Wildlife conservatory locations for life!" one commented.
A second user wrote, "WTF is wrong with this woman???!? That lion could have had a fat snack!!!!"
Others were just glad the lion did not end up with the same fate as Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla, Harambe, who had to be shot and killed by officials to save the life of a small child who had fallen into his enclosure.
"Thank goodness this lion did not lose its life over this," one user wrote, while a second similarly commented, "Thankfully the Lion didn't have to be hurt for her ignorance."
The Bronx Zoo confirmed the incident to NBC New York and said their staff had received a report that someone had climbed over the lion enclosure's safety barrier on Saturday, September 28.
"This action was a serious violation and unlawful trespass that could have resulted in serious injury or death," they said in a statement. "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 woman escaped the enclosure unharmed and was escorted out of the park; it is unclear if any legal action has been taken against her.