A woman has suffered severe lacerations to her arm after climbing over a fence to get closer to a jaguar enclosure.
It has been reported the unnamed woman had been attempting to take a selfie with the jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo near Phoenix.
It was then that the jaguar swiped at her, leaving her with the lacerations. The incident happened Saturday March 9, and the woman’s injuries are said to be non-life-threatening.
Witness footage shows the woman crying and bleeding while lying on the floor, a deep wound visible on her arm where her skin had torn open.
GRAPHIC VIDEO: Woman attacked by a jaguar at @ZooWildlife … officials say, the woman crossed over a barrier to get a photo. I’ll have more at 9 and 10.— Jennifer Martinez (@Jennifer_Fox10) 10 March 2019
COURTESY: Adam Wilkerson @FOX10Phoenix #Fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/L5aOjV1m4J
Wildlife World Zoo have made the following remarks in a tweeted statement:
We regret to inform that this evening, before closing there was an incident reported involving a guest, who crossed over the barrier to get a photo, according to eye witnesses.
The visitor sustained non-life threatening injuries to their arm from one of our female jaguars. At the request of the family, paramedics were called. At no time was the animal out of its enclosure. The incident is being fully investigated.
Please understand why barriers are put in place. Sending prayers to the family tonight. pic.twitter.com/2MPb8bXhwR— Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park (@ZooWildlife) 10 March 2019
In another statement, the zoo promised the jaguar would not be euthanized following this incident:
We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar. She’s a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe- not a wild animals fault when barriers are crossed. Still sending prayers to her and her family.
We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar. She’s a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe- not a wild animals fault when barriers are crossed. Still sending prayers to her and her family.— Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park (@ZooWildlife) 10 March 2019
Speaking with CNN, witness Adam Wilkerson recalled the moment he heard somebody yelling for help.
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.
He added how he, ‘could see the claws in her actual flesh’. Wilkerson’s mother was able to distract the jaguar by shoving a bottle of water into the cage.
Wilkerson – who did not see the actual attack take place – explained:
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 collapse.
Well done to Adam Wilkerson and his mother for their quick thinking.