Zoos can be a fantastic place to visit if you want to see animals. Their exhibits rely on a delicate balance of allᴏᴡɪɴɢ visitors to see animals up cʟᴏsᴇ and unencumbered while maintaining a safe distance to safeguard both humans and animals.
Bʀᴇᴀᴋing the rules and entering an animal’s enclosure, even if it’s a “safe” animal, is never a good idea… Which only adds to the craziness of one woman’s decision to jump a fence to go face-to-face with a lion.
A pride of Afʀɪᴄᴀɴ lions can be found at the Bronx Zoo. Visitors can see these magnificent animals in a natural but secure setting. However, one tourist took advantage of the low walls and, in an ᴜɴᴜsᴜᴀʟ move, vaulted the fence to gain access to the cage, exposing herself ᴠᴜʟɴᴇʀᴀʙʟᴇ to the enormous jungle cats.
On September 28, the woman posted videos of her act to Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ, evidently proud of her “f.e.a.rless” sᴛᴜɴᴛ. “It’s funny Cᴀᴜsᴇ you to hear Grown Men Sᴄᴀʀed,” she wrote. “Only People wasn’t sᴄᴀʀed was me and The Chilᴅʀen… I REALLY HAVE NO F.EAR OF NOTHING BREATHING!!”
Not only does the woman ʀᴇᴍᴀɪɴ in the enclosure, but she also waving her arms and approaching the lion in an attempt to catch his attention. The lion, on the other hand, does not ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ or even respond ᴀɢɢʀᴇssɪᴠᴇly. He just looks around. According to her Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ captions, the woman believes the peaceful encounter was the result of a spiritual connection between her and the lion. Don’t get me ᴡʀᴏɴɢ: she was in ɢʀᴀᴠᴇ p.eril.
“This action was a sᴇʀɪᴏᴜs violation and unlawful trespass that could have resulted in sᴇʀɪᴏᴜs ɪɴjᴜʀy or ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ,” the Bronx Zoo said in a statement. “Bᴀʀʀɪᴇʀs and rules are in place to keep both visitors, staff, and animals safe. We have a zero-tolerance policy on trespass and violation of ʙᴀʀʀɪᴇʀs.”
She not only set a ʜᴏʀʀɪʙʟᴇ example for the chilᴅʀen watching, but she also endangered the animal. If the lion had seen her as a ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛ and ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋed, or even if the woman appeared to be in ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ, the lion could have been ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ, similar to the infamous ᴋɪʟʟɪɴɢ of Harambe the gorɪʟʟa in 2016.
If you truly care about animals—and your own sᴀfᴇᴛʏ—follow the zoo’s rules and maintain a safe distance.