Zoo-goer attacked by jaguar after she climbed into its enclosure for "a selfie"
On Saturday evening, a woman was left needing medical attention after being attacked by a jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo near Phoenix, following an attempt to take a "selfie" with the animal.
Based on eyewitness accounts, spokespeople for the zoo are saying the individual, said to be in her thirties, climbed over a barrier and into the five-year-old jaguar's enclosure in order to take the photo.
Footage of the alarming incident showed how significantly the female jaguar had injured the Arizona zoo's guest. Viewer discretion is advised:
Shawn Gilleland, a spokesman for Rural Metro Fire who rushed to the scene of the incident, revealed how the guest, "wanted to take a selfie or a picture of the animal, and she put her arm close enough to the cage that the cat was able to reach her."
Moments after the animal lashed out, the video shows the woman laying on the floor in considerable pain.
Adam Wilkerson, who was at the zoo with his mom and two children during the incident, informed CNN that after hearing people shouting for help, he rushed over to the jaguar's enclosure:
"Without thinking, I had no idea what I was going to see, I just ran over there. I saw the other girl up against the fence with her arm caught in the jaguar's claws."
Wilkerson then added that it was only when his mom then distracted the jaguar with a water bottle that the big cat left the woman alone. In the image below, you can see the jaguar playing with the plastic bottle:
This unnamed guest's potentially life-saving actions were later praised by her son, Mr Wilkerson, who also shared more details from the incident on Reddit:
"I hear a young girl screaming for help. I rush over and see this girl with her hand up against the Jaguar enclosure fence with a black Jaguar’s claws in its grasp. If it weren’t for my mom’s quick-thinking with the water bottle that Jaguar would not have let go of the poor girl's arm. We’re still in shock from it all."
The zoo has since released a statement via their official Twitter page, explaining that the incident was being "fully investigated":
In response to a concerned Twitter user, the zoo assured their followers that the animal would not be put down as a result of the unfortunate incident:
Gilleland later revealed that the woman was taken to a nearby hospital and following treatment, returned to the zoo to apologize.