Witnesses said she was dancing and talking to the lion before it appeared to get angry at her and she left before anything more serious occurred.
The video was posted on Instagram on Sunday, September 29, by @realsobrino. He was at the zoo with his family and had been taking photos and videos of the animals when the scene unfolded in front of him.
A police investigation is underway, but Autry has not been charged. The video shows the woman just feet away from a male lion.
You can watch the video below:
Bronx Zoo Officials Say the Woman Could Have Been Killed or Seriously Injured
Bronx Zoo officials said the woman illegally entered the African lion enclosure on Saturday, September 28, and put her life in danger, while also endangering the lion.
The zoo released a statement saying, “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. We have a zero tolerance policy on trespass and violation of barriers.”
The woman climbed over a barrier to get into the enclosure. There was a moat-like area in between her and the lion, but it is not clear if that prevented the lion from coming closer to the woman.
In 2016, a video of a boy falling into an enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and being grabbed by Harambe the gorilla went viral because zoo officials shot and killed Harambe, saying they were forced to do so to save the animal’s life. The video sparked outrage as many blamed the boy’s mother for allowing him to fall into the enclosure. The Bronx Zoo video has led to similar anger, with many people on social media saying the woman could have caused the lion to be killed.
Police Are Trying to Identify the Woman & She Could Face Charges
The NYPD is investigating after a criminal complaint was filed against the woman in the video by the Bronx Zoo, but she has not been identified so far.
If she is caught, police could charge her with criminal trespass. Nobody called 911 or reported the incident to police on the day of the incident, the NYPD said. But the complaint was filed by the zoo on Tuesday, according to the NYPD.
The Man Who Recorded the Video Says the Woman Was ‘Saying Hi’ to the Lion & It ‘Started to Get Agitated at One Point & Roared at Her
Hernan Reynoso, who posted the video on Instagram, told NBC New York he thought the woman was part of the exhibit at first, and then realized she didn’t belong.
“But when I see … she just was there, dancing, saying, ‘Hi,’ to the lion and everything and that was crazy,” Reynoso told the news station. He said at one point the lion began to get agitated and roared at the woman. Reynoso took his family and left when that occurred, he said.