A woman visiting New York’s Bronx Zoo climbed into the lion exhibit Thursday (November 11) and confessed her love to one of the lions.
According to witnesses, she exclaimed, “King, I love you, I came back for you,” while wearing a red dress, holding roses and tossing money at the lion, per NBC News.
Carole Baskin goes to the Bronx zoo. pic.twitter.com/7ULWa10JNg— JAWs (@JawsLoves) November 13, 2021
In a statement, the zoo said, “staff were notified that a woman had stepped over a public barrier near the lion exhibit. The incident lasted only a couple of minutes and the woman was gone when staff arrived on scene.” Zoo officials note that the woman was near a moat that separated the lions from the public and she was not in any danger.
Police later identified the woman as Myah Autrey; She also entered the same lion exhibit and taunted a lion in 2019.
Thankfully, the lion did not engage with Autrey and seemed unaffected by the stunt and remained lying down on the ground and looked at her in confusion. “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,” said an updated statement from the zoo.
Later, during a court appearance for an unrelated charge, she told reporters: “I am the lion now. Can’t you tell? Have you ever heard of reincarnation?” Autry, who described the experience as “spiritual,” added, “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.”
She was later arrested on two charges of criminal trespassing. She was also accused of entering a giraffe enclosure on the same day she visited the lions.