The picture and video look alarming as they portray a ‘crazy woman’ dancing in front of a male lion inside the lion’s enclosure. The lion is disinterested.
We are told (and the picture confirms) that there is a moat between the lion and the woman. It does not appear to be very wide, however. But it must be wide enough to protect the woman on the other side of it because she arrived at this position by going around a wooden safety barrier i.e. she got there easily.
A ‘wooden safety barrier’ is not a fence designed to confine a lion. It is not clear to me as to what sort of public protection they have at this zoo but it is clearly in compliance with regulations otherwise the zoo would not be open.
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I don’t believe that the situation was anywhere near as bad as it was made out to be. What I mean is I don’t think the woman was in genuine danger.
This is supported by the news (Mirror newspaper online) that zoo management rather casually commented:
“Barriers and rules are in place to keep both visitors, staff and animals safe.”
What they are implying is that the barrier they are referring to is not the primary barrier which prevents the lion attacking people. That must be the moat but it does not look sufficient. However it must be wider than it appears in the photo and it must be a good lion confinement barrier. You can see the plaque describing the lion in the foreground of the photo. It is not behind a fence.
The woman retreated back into the public areas and the the police are looking for her after she was escorted out of the zoo. To reiterate, the fact that she found it easy to get to this position and return indicates that it is accessible by the public. Therefore she cannot have got around or climbed over a primary barrier between lion and the public.
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