A woman who was caught on video jumping over a barrier to feed Hot Cheetos to spider monkeys in a zoo enclosure has been arrested.
Luz Elizabeth Rae, 26, was booked on Thursday morning for criminal trespassing, the El Paso Police Department announced. She was taken to the El Paso County Detention Facility on $1,500 bond.
In a video that went viral online, Rae can be seen getting up-close-and-personal with two of the spider monkeys at the El Paso Zoo, Libby and Sunday.
She then feeds something to the spider monkeys, later identified as Hot Cheetos.
‘She was attempting to feed them Hot Cheetos, [but], it is still unclear if they actually ate any,’ Joe Montisano, director of the zoo, told Newsweek. ‘From the video, they were more disturbed with her being there than concerned with the food,’ he said of the monkeys.
Staff at the El Paso Zoo were not aware of what had taken place until seeing the video after the fact.
Montisano called the woman ‘stupid and lucky’ in comments to ABC-7.
‘This young lady decided to hop a fence, climb through some bushes, drop down into a four-feet deep moat, walk across the moat and then try to feed the spider monkeys,’ Montisano told the El Paso Times.
Spider monkeys are typically between 14-26 inches long and around 13.25 pounds, according to National Geographic. It’s not clear the exact size of these monkeys. They are ‘usually agitated by human contact,’ NatGeo says.
They can become violent toward humans, according experts at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio.
Rae, a litigation assistant, was identified by ABC-7 as the woman behind the barrier; the footage was taken sometime over the weekend and posted by Fit Fam El Paso to Instagram last Sunday.
After the video went viral, the Lovett Law Firm distanced itself from Rae’s actions.
Although after the footage went viral, Lovett Law Firm in Texas where Rae used to work fired her, she appears to have picked up a new gig at the Mark Davis Law Firm.
On Tuesday, Mark Davis reposted the statement from Lovett Law Firm on Facebook, writing, ‘Shame on you and your cancel culture attitude!’
Davis went on to bash the rival law firm before referring to Rae as ‘my new paralegal.’ ‘She was jobless because of your hatefulness, now a proud member of my law firm,’ Davis wrote.
A woman was caught on video climbing into a spider monkey enclosure and allegedly feeding the animals Hot Cheetos at the El Paso Zoo. El Paso PD is reportedly investigating the incident after the zoo filed a complaint. pic.twitter.com/yU3WJjRMBh— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 26, 2021
‘Under the Texas penal code, it does not look like it is anything more serious than a criminal trespassing,’ attorney Justin Underwood told KFOX14.
‘In this case, there is no evidence that she maltreated them or fed them poison.
So, I don’t believe there would be sufficient evidence [for animal cruelty],’ added attorney Matthew James Kozik.