EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) – El Paso Zoo in Texas is planning to press charges against a woman who jumped into an enclosure and fed two spider monkeys.
Zookeepers say not only did she endanger herself, but also the animals.
“It’s extremely dangerous. I mean, these are primates we’re talking about here, so they can do some substantial damage to you,” zookeeper Mason Kleist said. “They’re stronger than they look. They may be small monkeys, but they are extremely strong.”
The woman not only endangered the monkeys by feeding them, but zookeepers say she put them at risk of catching COVID-19.
“Anything that we can have, they can have as well, so COVID was no different,” Kleist said.
He said the zoo has taken necessary precautions to make sure the monkeys do not get the coronavirus.
On top of those risks, the woman invading their home has put a strain on the relationship between the zookeepers and monkeys.
“It takes years to build trust with these animals and for someone to come in there for five minutes for a video on Instagram or whatever just ruins years of work,” Kleist said.
The zoo is now looking to install cameras and modify the fencing around the exhibit.
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