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Video shows woman climb into monkey enclosure; now zoo pressing charges for 'stupid' act

Zoo Feature
Posted at 3:19 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 18:19:18-04

The El Paso Zoo is planning to press charges after a woman was seen on video inside a spider monkey enclosure.

The video was shared on social media earlier this week and quickly went viral. It shows a woman sitting behind a waterfall inside the enclosure, trying to hand something to the animals. The person who filmed it said the woman was feeding the monkeys Hot Cheetos.

The zoo learned about the trespassing incident after the video was shared.

"This young lady decided to hop a fence, climb through some bushes, drop down into a four-feet deep moat, walk across the moat and then try to feed the spider monkeys," Zoo director Joe Montisano told the El Paso Times.

Montisano told the paper they received several calls Sunday after the video was shared identifying the woman.

"It was stupid. She knew what she was doing was wrong. She's very fortunate that it didn't have a worse outcome for her or the animals," he said.

He said they have already talked to police about filing charges against the woman.

Meanwhile, the law firm where the woman reportedly works has announced they have let her go.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the Lovett Law Firm said they learned the woman filmed inside the enclosure was an employee and “she has been terminated.”

“We absolutely do not condone this irresponsible and reckless behavior,” the post continues, “Our thoughts go out to the spider monkeys, Libby and Sunday, and hope that they will recover from this very traumatic experience.”