Myah Autry has been identified as the woman who climbed into a lion enclosure at the Bronx Zoo on Saturday, September 28, 2019, and was caught on video taunting the animal and dancing around. The zoo said the woman, identified as Autry by the New York Post, trespassed by climbing over a wall and into the enclosure. The Bronx Zoo asked the NYPD to investigate and filed a police report that could result in charges against Autry.
Autry, 32, uses the name Myah Laree Israelite on Instagram. She posted about the viral incident herself on the day it happened. Autry posted a video showing her smoking a marijuana blunt outside of the zoo and said she was going to “f*ck with mothe nature.”
Autry also wrote in the caption of a photo, “I really have (no) fear of nothing breathing. Animals can feel love just like humans.” She also wrote, “I STAY WIT THE FINEST ?HERB ON MOTHER NATURE?.”
In another post she wrote, “I LOVE EVERYTHING THE ‘MOST HIGH CREATED.'” And, “I’M A FULL BREED LIONESS.”
She wrote, “Everybody loves lions until they meet them in the flesh. Let’s just say the lions & the children and kids that witnessed ‘Queen Empress Myah Laree Israelite’ go in with the lions and made it out alive. I’m from Brownsville I never ran and I never will.”
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.
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.
Here’s what you need to know about Myah Autry:
1. Myah Autry — Who Uses the Name ‘Queen Empress Myah Laree Israelite’ on Social Media — Has Been Posting About Her Viral Fame on Instagram
Myah Autry has been posting on Instagram about the incident and gloating about what happened. She posted a video with the lion and wrote, “I literally Went in his Habbitat (sic) and He did not Growl or He didn’t not go into Attack Mode‼️ Why? Like All things, Even Animals know if your acting out of Love & Fearlessness. When I say NO FEAR THATS NOT ABOUT EGO ? ITS ABOUT BEING ONE WITH MOTHER’S NATURE AND LOVING ALL THINGS‼️”
She added, “I Entered His Home in Peace & He let me Leave in Peace,” and “MY SOUL IS PURE THIS IS WHY I MADE IT OUT.”
Autry says on Instagram she is from Brooklyn and Harlem. She posted photos in the days after the video went viral of the late hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur staring down a lion and of lions with an image depicting the Queen of Sheba.
2. The Bronx Zoo Says Autry Is Luckily She Wasn’t Seriously Injured or Killed & Filed a Criminal Trespassing Report With Police
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.
On October 2, the Bronx Zoo tweeted, “We appreciate everyone’s concern regarding the Bronx Zoo lions. 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.”
3. Autry Was Arrested on a Trespassing Charge at a Bus Stop in Rural Iowa in January & Spent 2 Weeks in Jail
The incident at the Bronx Zoo isn’t the first time this year that Autry has been accused of trespassing. Online court records show she was arrested in Iowa by the West Burlington Police Department on January 10, 2019, on a trespassing charge. She spent two weeks in jail before being released. According to the New York Post, the arrest stemmed from an incident at a Trailways bus depot.
“We get it all through here,” West Burlington Police Chief Jesse Logan told The Post. “She just became uncooperative with the manager. She just refused to cooperate with us. So, she just got arrested.”
He told the newspaper the news about her lion incident had reached the small rural Iowa town of less than 3,000 people.
Autry was also arrested in 2007 on a shoplifting charge in Florida.
4. Police Say They Are Looking for Autry, Who Has Posted Several Photos Showing Her Partying Around New York City & Even Posing With NYPD Officers in the Days Since the Zoo Incident
Bronx Zoo officials filed a police report after the incident seeking charges for criminal trespassing. The NYPD has said they are investigating and looking for the woman in the video. Photos on Instagram show that she has been partying around New York City and even posed with NYPD officers.
The NYPD has said they have identified the woman but an arrest warrant for misdemeanor trespassing hasn’t been issued yet and she has not been taken into custody.
5. Autry Has Been Staying With Her Friend’s Mother in New York & She Told the New York Post, ‘Something Snapped’
The mother of one of Autry’s friends told the New York Post that Autry had been living with them recently.
“Something snapped somewhere. When I saw the video of the woman walking towards the lion, I said, ‘Why do people do this? People are crazy,'” Eunice Walton told The Post. “I didn’t think it had gone that far. I want her to get help. I need her to get help because I’m scared for her.”
Autry could not be reached for comment by Heavy.