Jaguar Attacks Woman Who Crossed Barrier to Take Selfie at Zoo

Image: Wildlife World Zoo

A woman visiting an Arizona zoo was attacked by a jaguar after crossing a barrier to take a selfie with the animal, leaving her with arm injuries.

The attack happened on Saturday evening at Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, just outside of Phoenix.

The unidentified woman, who is in her 30s, crossed a barrier to take a picture of the animal, the zoo said in a tweet, citing witness reports.

While she was attempting to take a selfie, the animal reached out and swiped at her, according to the Rural Metro Fire Department.

“The visitor sustained non-life threatening injuries to their arm from one of our female jaguars,” the zoo tweeted.

“At the request of the family, paramedics were called. At no time was the animal out of its enclosure … please understand why barriers are put in place. Sending prayers to the family tonight.”

There were no staff members nearby at the time of the attack, but Adam Wilkerson, who was at the zoo with his family, witnessed part of the incident.

After a woman ran screaming for help, Wilkerson went to investigate.

“I saw the other girl up against the fence with her arm caught in the jaguar’s claws,” he said.

Wilkerson said he was standing behind the woman but did not want to pull her off the jaguar because “I could see the claws in her actual flesh.”

He stated that his mother distracted the jaguar by putting a water bottle through the cage. It worked and the animal let go off the woman.

“When my mom put the water bottle through the gate, the jaguar let go of the girl. And we pulled the girl back and she collapsed,” said Wilkerson.

The woman suffered lacerations to the arm and is expected to recover.

Wilkerson was also able to record graphic footage following the attack which shows the woman lying on the ground bleeding.

Wildlife World Zoo told ABC 15 that this is the second time in a month that the same jaguar has swiped at a visitor.

The zoo has assured the public that the animal will not be put to death, as is often the case when wild animals attack humans.

“We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar,” the zoo said.

“She’s a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe- not a wild animals [sic] fault when barriers are crossed. Still sending prayers to her and her family.”

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Paul Ibirogba

Written by Paul Ibirogba

Paul is a former writing teacher turned writer. He loves to travel the world (the southeast Asia region in particular), meet people from a variety of cultures and learn about various lifestyles. When he's not doing one of those things, he's probably reading non-fiction or watching YouTube videos.

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