Who hasn’t seen an adorable animal at the zoo and wished they could touch, play or swim with it? Most people know that it wouldn’t be safe or smart to do so and don’t linger too long on the idea.
On Monday night one woman made her dream of swimming with a zoo animal a reality and broke into the Berlin Zoo after it was closed to swim with seals in their pool.
The woman wasn’t alone, she even brought along an accomplice to take photos of the swim session. She also wasn’t very stealthy and was seen by several witnesses.
"I watched as the woman stripped to her bikini and then lowered herself into the seal pool. Further back was a man taking photos," said one witness.
— BILD Berlin (@BILD_Berlin) August 5, 2014
The zoo staff was not happy with the incident and said the woman wasn’t likely aware of how dangerous the situation could have been. There have been many instances where zoo visitors have hidden until a zoo was closed and then tried to sneak into an animal enclosure. In some cases the people or animals have been hurt or killed.
Animals are unpredictable and even those that seem friendly, and tame such as seals, can become aggressive if they feel threatened.
"The woman could have been seriously injured if the seals had bitten her," the zoo manager said.
Animal welfare advocates were also upset to learn about the late night swim session.
"People need to respect animal welfare in both the wild but also in captivity," said Doerte von der Reith, spokesperson for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "To intrude into their compound is absolutely irresponsible."
The zoo manager did not say if the woman would face charges, but it is likely that she will.
Image via Wikimedia Commons