Woman taunts lion after climbing into exhibit at Bronx Zoo

NEW YORK (WCBS/CNN) - Video posted to Instagram over the weekend shows a woman facing off with a lion at the Bronx Zoo, taunting the animal.

Police are now trying to find her.

The video showed the woman wave at the lion. Then as the lion stood still, glaring at her, she danced seemingly carefree just feet away across a small moat.

The video was taken by another visitor to the zoo on Saturday. By Tuesday, onlookers at the exhibit had heard about the dangerous ordeal.

“There was a woman who thought it was a good idea to go dancing with lions and I’m wondering what the hell was she thinking,” Andrea Arndt said.

Arndt’s kids love lions, so she brought them by the exhibit, all the while wondering why the woman would do such a thing.

Arndt said her initial reaction was that the woman was “dumb.”

“Why would you jump in with a wild animal?” Arndt asked.

Sophia Sciametta said she knows better.

“I think that it’s a little ridiculous that somebody would actually do that, because they could die,” Sciametta said.

John Rubbo heard the news while walking by with his three young sons.

“It's just important to be conscious and smart about your actions while you're here,” Rubbo stressed. “You have to be responsible.”

He hopes the decisions of one woman won’t ruin the experience for others.

“At this exhibit, there's low walls. So, you want to get close enough to see what's going on, but don't want to have high fences in front of all these exhibits. It takes the fun out of the zoo,” Rubbo explained.

There is a moat, a narrow little river of water, that separates the lion from the grassy area in front of the fence, which allows for a lower barrier for visitors to peer over.

The zoo released a statement saying, in part:

"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."

The woman in the video was escorted out of the park and the lion exhibit remains open. Police say she may face criminal trespassing charges.

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