The return of the lion queen? Woman in red dress climbs into Bronx Zoo lion enclosure and throws $1 bills at the beasts: Believed to have carried out similar stunt in 2019
- A woman in an apparent blonde wig and red dress climbed over a barrier to get near the Bronx Zoo’s lion’s den
- She presented a lion with two bouquets of roses and threw $1 bills at him
- She was heard saying, ‘King, I love you. I came back for you’
- A witness claims she is the same woman who broke into the enclosure in 2019
- Myah Autry entered the den two years ago and skipped out on her court date, leading to nearly a year-long hunt for the fugitive
- She was arrested in October 2020 and taken for psychiatric evaluation
A woman wearing a red dress, leopard-print shawl and possibly a blonde wig jumped near the lion exhibit at the Bronx Zoo Thursday, praising, taunting and throwing $1 bills at the animal.
Cellphone footage obtained by NBC NY shows the woman approaching the carnivore with two bouquets of roses around 4 p.m. and telling the person filming the bizarre scene, ‘I miss him so much.’
She waves at onlookers as she tells the lion, ‘King, I love you. I came back for you.’ Then the woman dances and throws $1 bills at the big cat, who only stares at her and lies down.
Spectators alerted the zoo’s staff but by the time they reached the exhibit, she was gone.
The scene was reminiscent of a 2019 incident when a woman broke into the lion’s enclosure to taunt the animals.
A woman climbed into the lion’s den at the Bronx Zoo and proceeded to throw cash at a lion
The woman, dressed in red and possibly a blonde wig, presented the animal with roses
Witnesses say she told the lion, ‘King, I love you. I came back for you’
The Bronx Zoo said in a statement that the woman involved in the recent incident was in a different area from the lion, and not in any danger.
‘The woman did not enter the exhibit and was never in the same space as the lions which are separated from zoo visitors by a wide moat,’ the zoo said in a statement.
‘The incident lasted only a couple of minutes and the woman was gone when staff arrived on scene. We have an NYPD substation in the park and are working closely with them to resolve this situation with this individual. The Bronx Zoo has a zero tolerance policy in matters such as this and will aggressively seek prosecution against this individual and anyone who violates park safety rules.’
The zoo and New York Police Department are investigating.
The woman with the lion Thursday has not been identified, but one witness told NBC NY that she believes it was Myah Autry, the same woman who trespassed in 2019 at the enclosure.
Autry, 34, was charged with two counts of criminal trespassing for entering the lion exhibit September 28, 2019.
She had said, ‘I fear nobody. No animal, no human, no one. So no, I wasn’t fearing of the lion because the lion loved me. That’s why he came to me and I let the lion know: Lion, I love you.’
The zoo does not appear to have changed its fencing since the 2019 incident.
Autry was caught on camera entering the lion’s den at the Bronx Zoo on September 28, 2019
She posed for press photographers during her last appearance in court before disappearing for nearly a year. She was arrested in October 2020
Autry posted pictures of herself just before she broke into the lion’s den
Autry was arrested and arraigned the following November, but she became a fugitive when she failed to show up to court in December.
During her last court appearance, Autry interrupted the judge several times during the proceedings, to cry out: ‘All promises go to Jah and Jehovah!’
When instructed to sign documents, she reportedly declared: ‘I’m an educated Negro woman. I don’t sign nothing. All praise to you be Allah!’
She was arrested nearly a year later in October 2020, after police nabbed her in Coney Island. The woman had dared police to find her and threatened to jump off the Steeplechase Pier when officers cornered her.
She was transferred to Coney Island Hospital on October 22, 2020, for psychiatric evaluation, the Bronx Times reports.