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Woman Invades Spider Monkey Exhibit, Gets Fired

Law firm calls El Paso Zoo stunt 'irresponsible and reckless'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2021 3:44 PM CDT

A law firm in Texas has decided it doesn't want to be associated with a woman who was seen climbing into the monkey enclosure at El Paso Zoo and trying to feed the spider monkeys. Lovett Law Firm says the woman was fired Monday after they found out she was the "irresponsible and reckless" woman seen trespassing at the exhibit in footage shared on social media over the weekend, NBC reports. The zoo says it plans to press charges against the woman, who jumped a barrier, climbed through bushes, and crossed a moat before trying to feed two spider monkeys under a waterfall feature, reports USA Today.

Zoo workers describe the woman as "stupid"—and lucky that she wasn't seriously injured by the monkey. "These are primates we're talking about, they could do some substantial damage to you," zookeeper Mason Kleist tells WVIA. He says giving the monkeys outside food could give them stomach problems, and the woman could even have exposed them to COVID-19. He says it takes a long time to build trust with the animals and an unknown human invading their home "just ruins years of work." Zoo Director Joe Montisano says some of the woman's friends were among those who reported her. He says the zoo might now have to consider adding barriers to stop others invading the exhibit, reducing visibility for zoo visitors. (More Texas stories.)

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