An incident at the Bronx Zoo this week was reminiscent of one that took place about two years ago in the same spot—and it looks like it may have been a stunt pulled off by the same perpetrator. NBC News reports that at around 4pm on Thursday, a blonde woman in a red dress and leopard-print shawl climbed over the barrier surrounding the New York City zoo's lion exhibit, holding roses and hurling $100 bills once she was inside the enclosure (NBC New York has video here.) Witnesses say the woman was also saying things like "King, I love you, I came back for you" and "I missed him so much," as at least one seemingly bored lion watched her act.
That "missed him" part may be because the human interloper appears to have been Myah Autry, the so-called Lion Queen arrested for criminal trespassing after climbing into the zoo's lion exhibit in November 2019. Witnesses who compared this woman to Autry's social media posts are convinced it's her, and per the New York Daily News, the police have also IDed her as being Autry. Last October, the New York Post reported that Autry had been taken into custody by police and taken for a psychiatric evaluation after threatening to leap off a Coney Island pier. Whoever it is this time around, the zoo wants to press criminal trespassing charges against her.
"This situation involves one individual who is determined to harass our lions with no regard for her safety, or the safety of our staff and our guests, and no regard for the well-being of the lions," a zoo spokesman says in a statement. He adds that the trespasser was never in any real danger: When she climbed over the barrier, she merely entered a plant filled area that was still separated from the lions by a moat. Meanwhile, others are raising questions about the zoo's security features. "If she's able to do that a second time, there's no telling what'll happen the third time," one observer tells NBC. "She might not be so lucky." (Read more Bronx Zoo stories.)