A woman climbed over a safety enclosure at the Bronx Zoo and appeared to taunt a lion in one of the exhibits, according to the zoo and a video of the incident.
The video posted on Instagram shows a woman wearing a T-shirt and dark pants standing a few feet away from a male lion. The two stared at each other for a short time before the woman raised her arms and twisted her body as if she was dancing. The lion, meanwhile, just stood in his place.
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Hernán Reynoso, the person who captured the video, told NBC New York he thought that the woman’s actions were part of the exhibit, but left with his wife and son once he noticed the lion was getting agitated and started to roar.
“But when I see … she just was there, dancing, saying, ‘Hi,’ to the lion and everything and that was crazy,” Reynoso said.
The Bronx Zoo confirmed the incident and released a statement in response:
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 exhibit has a moat-like barrier between where the woman was seen and where the lion was hanging out. It is unclear whether the woman will face punishment for her actions.
No one was injured in the incident. Both the zoo and the lion exhibit remain open.