A Texas woman was filmed trying to feed spider monkeys after climbing into an exhibit at the El Paso Zoo.
The video shows the unknown woman sitting on a rock and apparently throwing food at two monkeys. The smiling woman later gets out of the exhibition.
After the footage hit social media, the woman’s law firm released a statement that she had been fired.
“We learned this morning that the person filmed entering the El Paso Zoo’s spider monkey enclosure was an employee of the Lovett law firm,” the company said Monday. “She was fired.”
The company, which did not name the woman, called her behavior “irresponsible and inconsiderate”.
“We support the El Paso Zoo and our thoughts are with the spider monkeys Libby and Sunday and hope that they will recover from this very traumatic experience,” the statement said.
The El Paso Zoo and police did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday.
Zoo officials told the El Paso Times that they cannot allow the woman’s dangerous stunt to go unpunished and plan to bring charges against her.
“This young lady decided to hop a fence, climb some bushes, fall into a four-foot-deep moat, walk over the moat, and then try to feed the spider monkeys,” said director Joe Montisano. “It was stupid.”
He said the woman was lucky that the situation ended the way she did.
“These are primates. They are strong; they have canines. They can scratch. We don’t interact with them on a daily basis,” Montisano told the newspaper. “And we don’t interact with them without a barrier between us.”
Montisano said that due to the woman’s actions, the zoo may need to have a higher fence around the spider monkey enclosure, making it more difficult for guests to see.