Woman Who Taunted a Lion Inside Zoo Enclosure Survives and Faces Trespass Charge

October 2, 2019 Updated: October 2, 2019

An African-American woman was lucky to avoid injury after wandering into a New York City zoo enclosure and teasing a lion on Sept. 28.

A viral video posted on social media shows the female making dance moves within what appears to be pouncing distance of a fully grown lion at the Bronx Zoo, 14 miles northeast of downtown Manhattan.

According to Instagram user Real Sobrino, the woman climbed over the safety perimeter fence at the African Plains exhibit.

“She jumped the fence,” Sobrino commented on Instagram. “I did not know that woman who jumped.”

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On another video, the woman can be seen waving her arms and pressing her palms together in front of her chest while facing the lion, which moved a few steps closer and kept gazing at her with great interest.

“He was ready to eat that [human] ‘steak,'” Sobrino said on Instagram. “Look at the reaction of the lion to see that woman there.”

Although the woman continued to tease the lion, he did not attack and hesitated to come closer to her.

Sobrino suggested this could be because there was a small ravine, possibly electrically charged, separating the woman from the captive animal.

“I think they have to be power[ed] or something,” he said on Instagram. “If you see my picture she just stood on the rocks.”

Sobrino used the opportunity to take some photos and record some videos. He admitted he was also concerned for the woman’s safety.

“If the lion attacked her they have to sacrifice it,” he said on Instagram. “I was there for a few minutes, [it was] very difficult [to watch].”

“Watch the video until the end part,” Sobrino said on Instagram.

Although neither the woman nor the lion were injured in the incident, a spokesperson confirmed a complaint has been made to the New York Police Department (NYPD) for criminal trespass.

“This action was a serious violation and unlawful trespass that could have resulted in serious injury or death,” a zoo spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Fox5. “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.”

NYPD Detective Sophia Mason confirmed with CNN there were neither reports of the incident made to the 911 telephone emergency service nor any related arrests made. The department acknowledged receipt of the zoo’s complaint on criminal trespass.

Investigations continue.