Now that we live in an era where animal rights are becoming increasingly important (the story of Tikiri the elephant being a prime example), zoos primarily exist with the intent of conservation.
However, years of indoctrinating people with the belief that animals exist entirely for our entertainment will take a long time to shake, as evidenced by this woman who climbed into a zoo enclosure to taunt a lion.
Yes, of all the animals she could have chosen, she got up close and personal with one of the most notorious apex predators on the planet.This is the moment the woman taunted the lion:
While the result of such an act of stupidity might be expected to be mauling or worse, clearly, even the lion couldn't believe what the unidentified woman was doing and simply stood there stunned.
The incident was filmed by Instagram user Real Sobrino. In the footage above, the woman can be seen dancing in front of the lion and taunting it.
Needless to say, it was met with shock on social media.
One viewer wrote: "Absolute idiot. What I'm upset about is if the lion did anything to her, he'd probably be put down. What a selfish and stupid thing to do."
Another added: "What an ignorant person. They would've shot the lion to save her dumb ass I'm glad the lion survived this idiot human behavior."
It was also added that there was a trench between the lion and the woman, meaning that had the animal lunged to attack her, it could have potentially been injured.
The incident took place at the Bronx Zoo in New York, which has now issued a statement about the footage to NBC News: "This action was a serious violation and unlawful trespass that could have resulted in serious injury or death.
"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."