LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ (Gray News) - Zoo officials in Arizona say a woman who crossed over a barrier to get a photo sustained non-life-threatening injuries to her arm when a jaguar attacked.
Medical background / Photo: Wesley Wilson / (MGN)
Fire officials said the woman, who is in her 30s, was trying to take a selfie Saturday night near the fence of the jaguar enclosure at the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, AZ, according to KPHO.
As she was doing so, a female jaguar reached out and attacked her arm.
Witness Adam Wilkerson, who took video of the incident, said he and his family heard the woman screaming for help and rushed to the scene. There, he saw the victim’s arm caught by the jaguar’s claws.
“I could see the claws in her actual flesh,” Wilkerson told CNN.
Wilkerson’s mother managed to distract the jaguar by holding out her water bottle.
“When my mom put the water bottle through the gate, the jaguar let go of the girl. We pulled the girl back, and she collapsed,” he told CNN.
Wilkerson’s video shows the aftermath of the attack. The victim can be seen on the ground, breathing quickly and whimpering in pain. Others surround her, trying to help with the laceration to her arm.
The victim was taken to the hospital, KPHO reports. She is expected to be OK.
Wildlife World Zoo Director Mickey Ollson says the 4-to-5-year-old jaguar will not be euthanized because it “was not the animal's fault,” according to KNXV.
However, officials will be checking into whether more barriers need to be put in place.
This is not the first time the female jaguar has hurt a zoo visitor. Ollson said about a year ago, it scratched another person who crossed the barrier.
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