Police are appealing for help locating a woman who visited New York’s Bronx Zoo, climbed over the barrier surrounding the lion enclosure and began declaring her love for the animals while tossing $100 bills into the air last week, according to witnesses.
Police on Friday appealed to the public for help in finding the woman, according to the Associated Press.
NBC News reports that the incident happened at approximately 4pm on Thursday, with the woman exclaiming: “King, I love you, I came back for you!”
A statement from the zoo says that “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.”
Video taken by other zoo visitors shows the woman in a red slip dress and a leopard print stole or scarf, waving bunches of roses at the “bewildered” lion.
She then began to toss $100 bills into the air and dance provocatively for the beast, spanking herself.
“I missed him so much,” the woman can be heard saying in the footage.
A witness told the outlet that the woman also said to the lion: “King, I love you, I came back for you.”
While her behaviour was bizarre, she was in no danger of being injured by the unimpressed-looking beast, as after the barrier visitors are separated from the lions by a moat.
A similar incident occurred two years ago when a woman named Myah Autry also climbed over the barrier and danced for the lion.
Video footage and her comments suggest, and witnesses believe, that the woman on Thursday was again Ms Autry but in blonde wig, though this has not been verified.
When asked about her experience two years ago, Ms Autry described it at the time as “spiritual” and told reporters that she was now the lion because of reincarnation.
She added that she didn’t fear the wild animal because it loved her: “That’s why he came to me and I let the lion know: Lion, I love you.”
Ms Autry was arrested on two charges of criminal trespassing, having also entered the giraffe enclosure on that same day in 2019.
It is not known whether Ms Autry believes she and the giraffes also share amorous feelings towards each other.
Zoo officials have said they plan to press criminal trespass charges to the perpetrator of Thursday’s incident, once the individual is officially identified.
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