What to Know
- Police are searching for the woman seen on a viral video climbing over a visitor safety barrier at the Bronx Zoo's African lion exhibit
- The woman, identified as Myah Autry, also went inside the giraffe enclosure at the zoo as well, the NYPD said
- Authorities are now looking for Autry; she faces a possible criminal trespassing charge
Police have released a new photo as they search for the woman seen on viral video climbing over a visitor safety barrier at the Bronx Zoo's African lion exhibit and appearing to taunt the animal with a dance over the weekend.
The photo released by the NYPD Thursday evening shows the woman, identified as Myah Autry, also posing for a photo inside the giraffe den. The 32-year-old woman is wanted for questioning in the criminal trespassing case.
The giraffes did not seem to be as interested in Autry's actions as the lion was, but then again the giraffes probably didn't see her as a potential meal.
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Video posted to Instagram shows her standing what appears to be just feet away from a male lion. They stare at each other for a brief period of time before she seems to almost taunt it, raising her arms and wiggling her body for a second as if she's dancing. The lion just stares at her, occasionally looking away.
Other photos and videos show Autry at the zoo on the same day. Just outside the front gate, she is seen on video talking about her birthday and saying "I'm about to f--k with Mother Nature," as she laughs.
The Bronx Zoo and the NYPD were not amused -- and police are looking for Autry, who faces a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge.
Hernán Reynoso, the man who captured the lion video, told News 4 he had been at the zoo with his wife and son. He was recording on his phone and his wife said, "Look at that!"
Reynoso turned. At first, he says he thought it was just part of the exhibit.
"But when I see ... she just was there, dancing, saying, 'Hi,' to the lion and everything and that was crazy," Reynoso said. He also said the lion started to get agitated at one point and roared; that was when he grabbed his family and left.
The Bronx Zoo confirmed the incident in a statement, telling News 4 its staff got a report that someone had climbed over the barrier on Saturday.
"This action was a serious violation and unlawful trespass that could have resulted in serious injury or death. Barriers and rules are in place to keep both visitors, staff and animals safe," the zoo told News 4 Tuesday. "We have a zero tolerance policy on trespass and violation of barriers."
The zoo does have a moat-like barrier that drops in between where the woman was seen dancing and the lion, which possibly prevented the situation from getting worse.
A woman who has known Autry for years says she is worried about her.
"Myah please get help. I dont know. I don’t know what is wrong with you," said Eunice Walton. "I feel sad because she is like like my child. She is with my daughter since high school."