Woman jumps into lion exhibit at zoo and dances while chucking money at beast

A woman jumped the barrier of the lion enclosure at a zoo and started dancing and tossing money at one of the fearsome beasts.

The bizarre incident occurred at around 4pm on Thursday, according to the Bronx Zoo in New York.

Footage shared on social media shows the woman in a red dress carrying some roses before she starts busting some moves with a lion just metres away.

In the clip, recorded by the woman's husband, she can be heard talking to the lion as she declares "I missed him so much".

Her husband has since described the stunt to News 4 as "definitely surreal", adding that she addressed the lion by saying "King, I love you, I came back for you".

Concerned onlookers alerted zoo staff but by the time they responded she had jumped back over the barrier.

In a statement, the zoo explained that she wasn't actually in too much danger as a moat separated her and the lion.

A zoo spokesperson said: "Video shows she crossed a barrier into a planted area near the exhibit. The woman was not in the exhibit as has been falsely reported and she was never in the same space as the lions.

"This situation involves one individual who is determined to harass our lions with no regard for her safety, or the safety of our staff and our guests, and no regard for the well-being of the lions.

"We have an NYPD substation in the park and are working closely with them to resolve this situation with this individual.

"The Bronx Zoo has a zero-tolerance policy in matters such as this and will aggressively seek prosecution against this individual and anyone who violates park safety rules."

If the situation wasn't already strange enough, it turns out that the exact same thing occurred at the Bronx Zoo in 2019.

Back then, a woman named Myah Autrey jumped into the same spot and appeared to taunt the lions as she danced.

Witnesses to Thursday's incident, who had also seen the footage of the previous incident, reckon that it was the same woman. Her "I missed him so much" declaration would also suggest this.

"I can't believe she did it again, if it even is her. I don't know what's going through people's minds," said one witness.

Another zoo goer added: "They definitely need better security. If she's able to do that a second time, there's no telling what'll happen the third time. She might not be so lucky."

In 2019 Autrey, who reportedly also jumped into the giraffe enclosure, was charged with criminal trespassing.

She said at the time: "I fear nobody. No animal, no human, no one. So 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."

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