EL PASO, Texas – Over the weekend, a Texas woman hopped into a spider monkey enclosure at the El Paso Zoo to feed anmials Hot Cheetos, according to multiple reports.
In a viral video posted to Instagram, the woman can be seen hand-feeding the monkeys under a waterfall installment inside the habitat, but she’s seen backing away and out of the enclosure as the anmials begin to approach her.
KVIA identified the woman as Lucy Rae, a former lititagtion assistant at a Texas law firm who was fired after news broke out of the incident.
The El Paso Zoo director Joe Montisano described Rae as “stupid and lucky” while the zookeeper, Mason Kleist, told KVIA she put both herself and the spider monkeys in danger by giving them food not apart of their specialized diet. Kleist also said she could have potentially exposed them to COVID-19.
Montisano told Newsweek that the spider monkeys, Libby and Sunday, “maybe a little shaken up by the incident but they are fine.”
He also said that zoo officials will speak to law enforcement about bringing charges against Rae in effort to pursue “prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”
“For someone to come in there for five minutes for a video on Instagram or whatever just ruins years of work,” Kleist told People about the monkeys.
He said Rae ruined the monkeys relationship with people and said it will take years fo them to build trust with the zookeepers.