The Bronx Zoo and the New York Police Department are working to identify a woman who was captured on video inside a lion exhibit, appearing to taunt a male lion just feet away.
On Saturday, footage of a woman inside the lion enclosure at the Bronx Zoo in New York was shared on Instagram. As the male lion stands motionless, staring the woman down, she can be seen dancing and waving at the animal.
Despite there only being a moat with a 14-foot drop between the lion and the woman, no injuries were reported, the Bronx Zoo said in a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle.
In the statement, the Bronx Zoo said the individual had "climbed over a visitor safety barrier at the African lion exhibit.”
"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," the statement read. "We have a zero-tolerance policy on trespass and violation of barriers."
According to CBS New York, the woman was escorted out of the zoo. Now, the NYPD is searching for her.
Hernán Reynoso, the man who shot the video, was visiting the zoo with his wife and son. Reynoso, who did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment, told NBC New York he had been recording something else when his wife drew his attention to the woman in the enclosure. At first, the family had assumed it was part of the exhibit.
"But when I see ... she just was there, dancing, saying, 'Hi,' to the lion and everything and that was crazy," Reynoso told NBC New York, adding that when the lion roared at the woman, he took his family away from the scene.
An NYPD spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle “there is a complaint report on file for criminal trespass,” but no arrests have been made at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
The zoo and the lion exhibit remain open.
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