Woman Who Climbed Into Lion's Den: 'I Am the Lion Now'

Myah Autry is in custody on trespassing charges after stunt at Bronx Zoo went viral
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2019 7:10 AM CST

A woman who climbed into a lion's exhibit at New York City's Bronx Zoo in September has turned herself in to police. The Asbury Park Press reports that Myah Autry, said to be in her early 30s, has been charged with criminal trespassing after being taken into custody Wednesday, a little over a month after video of her stunt—which showed her waving and dancing in front of a male African lion after she climbed into the enclosure—went viral. Although there was a large moat between her and the lion, the Bronx Zoo wasn't happy about the occurrence and immediately filed a trespassing complaint with police. NBC News ran into Autry last week, before her arrest, outside of a New Jersey courthouse, where she had to appear for a shoplifting charge unrelated to her lion encounter.

She openly owned what she'd done and told the reporter what drove her to climb into the enclosure with the lion was something "spiritual." "I fear nobody. No animal ... no one," she said, adding that when she was staring the lion down, "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 also brought up the concept of "reincarnation" and recalled saying at the time, "I am the lion now." Meanwhile, a source tells the New York Daily News that Autry did what she did due to "rage over her boyfriend." NBC notes she also reportedly climbed into the giraffe's exhibit that same day. (More Bronx Zoo stories.)

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