El Paso, TX

El Paso Zoo Has No Time For Monkey Business

Tom Handy

Illegal trespasser spends time in jail.

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PrisonImage by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay

Not long after deciding to feed a spider monkey Hot Cheetos at the El Paso Zoo, Rae spent some time in the El Paso County Detention Facility located downtown.

The El Paso police press release stated, “The woman seen on social media in a video trespassing into an El Paso Zoo monkey exhibit enclosure treading across murky water has been arrested.”

You can read more on the story of the incident of Rae trespassing here.

As a joke or prank, Luz Elizabeth Rae crossed into the area that is off-limits to visitors and decides to feed the monkey a Cheeto Flamin' hot snack.

This warning sign didn't prevent Rae from entering the monkey's compound.

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El Paso Zoo signImage provided by KFOX 14

I’m not sure what she was thinking when she decided to do this. It may have seemed funny at the time, but the incident cost her a job she had with Lovett Law Firm.https://lovettlawfirm.com/ Rae was immediately fired once they heard about the news.

The 26 year old was arrested by the El Paso Police and has a bond set at $1,500. Online records show Rae was released Thursday on bond.

“The woman seen on social media in a video trespassing into an El Paso Zoo monkey exhibit enclosure treading across murky water has been arrested,” the department wrote.

Zoo Director Joe Montisano said, "She's very fortunate that it didn't have a worse outcome for her or the animals."

Under the Texas penal code, it does not look like it is anything more serious than a criminal trespassing,” said Justin Underwood, an attorney in El Paso.
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Luz Elizabeth RaeImage from KVIA
In this case it’s much easier for the government to prove that she entered a place that she knew she wasn’t permitted to be,” said Matthew James Kozik, an attorney in El Paso.
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,” said Kozik.

Due to the trespassing, the El Paso Zoo is working to prevent visitors from attempting a stunt like this again. Currently, the barrier allows visitors to get glimpses of the monkey. The changes could make it harder for visitors to see.

Montisano said modifications were being made to the fence to protect the animals and the guests.

Another recent incident alarmed the zoo as children were placed in the chimpanzee area by a parent.

The zoo wants visitors to respect the animal’s area.

She was attempting to feed them Hot Cheetos,” Montisano said of Rae. “It is still unclear if they actually ate any. From the video, they were more disturbed with her being there than concerned with the food.”
The spider monkeys are fine,” Montisano commented. “(They are) maybe a little shaken up by the incident but they are fine.”

After Rae was fired from the Lovett Law Firm as a litigation assistant, but then she was quickly hired by El Paso lawyer Mark Davis.

This video covers the El Paso woman entering the monkey compound.

Spider monkeys are typically found in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America as well as Mexico.

The Spider monkeys normally eat nuts, fruits, leaves, bird eggs, and spiders. The flamin' hot Cheetos probably would have given the monkeys some serious indigestion.

Spider monkeys are usually agitated by human contact. The visit by Rae probably did not help at all.

Luz Elizabeth Rae brought a lot of attention to El Paso and for all the wrong reasons. If you searched online, new sites across the US have covered this story. Hopefully, Rae has learned her lesson.

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