animals & pet care

Texas’s Luz Elizabeth Rae fed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to spider monkeys at El Paso Zoo?

Luz Elizabeth Rae (©El Paso Police Department)
Luz Elizabeth Rae (©El Paso Police Department)

Luz Elizabeth Rae, 26, of Texas, United States has been arrested by the El Paso Police Department. She was charged with criminal trespassing.

Rae was filmed climbing into a spider monkey enclosure at the El Paso Zoo in El Paso, Texas and trying to feed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to two spider monkeys namely Libby and Sunday. On May 23, 2021, Fit Fam El Paso took to Instagram to share a video of the incident.

“The spider monkeys are fine,” El Paso Zoo director Joe Montisano told Newsweek. “(They are) maybe a little shaken up by the incident but they are fine.”

“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.”


Montisano told El Paso Times that spider monkeys are strong and they have canine teeth. He said Rae was very fortunate that the incident did not have a worse outcome for her or the animals.

“It was stupid,” Montisano said. “She knew what she was doing was wrong.”

Rae worked as a litigation assistant for the Lovett Law Firm in El Paso. On May 26, 2021, the firm took to Facebook to announce that she has been fired.

Many Texans and animal lovers praised the Lovett Law Firm for its decision to let Rae go. On the other hand, El Paso lawyer Mark Davis criticized the firm and claimed that he has hired her.

On May 27, 2021, Rae was arrested and booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility. She was released after posting a $1,500 bond.


In 1989, a team of hotshot snack food professionals started creating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in the corporate offices of Frito-Lay’s headquarters in Plano, Texas. In the late 2000s, former Frito-Lay janitor Richard Montañez began taking public credit for inventing the brand and nobody disputed his claim until recently.

“None of our records show that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin’ Hot test market,” Frito-Lay told the Los Angeles Times. “We have interviewed multiple personnel who were involved in the test market and all of them indicate that Richard was not involved in any capacity in the test market. That doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate Richard but the facts do not support the urban legend.”

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