Jaguar in Arizona zoo won’t be put down for attacking woman who tried to take selfie with it

Don't do what the zoo specifically tells you not to do.

Ashley Tan | March 12, 10:50 am

A woman was attacked by a jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo in Arizona, U.S.A after she climbed a barrier to take a selfie with the animal on March 9, 2019, Reuters reports.

Bystander distracted jaguar with water bottle

The barrier provides a buffer of several metres from the actual enclosure.

According to Reuters, the local fire department crew said that the woman allegedly put her arm so close to the actual enclosure that the jaguar was able to reach her.

A witness present at the time of the attack, Adam Wilkerson, said that he heard screaming, and saw the woman up against the fence with the jaguar’s claws in her flesh, CNN reveals.

Wilkerson added that he did not try to pull her away, for fear of causing the woman greater injury.

In a display of resourcefulness, Wilkerson’s mother distracted the creature by shoving a water bottle through the cage.

Only then did the jaguar let go of the woman.

The jaguar with the water bottle. Photo from ABC News / Youtube

A video of the attack depicts the woman writhing on the ground in pain after she was released by the animal, surrounded by fellow bystanders.

You can see the video below, but be warned, the images may be distressing.


Non-life threatening injuries

The woman, whose identity is being withheld pending investigations, suffered non-life threatening injuries to her arm and was brought to a hospital for treatment.

In response to the incident, the zoo said that investigations are ongoing.

At no time was the animal out of the enclosure.

Jaguar will not be put down

In 2016, a male silverback gorilla named Harambe was shot dead at the Cincinnati Zoo after a boy fell into its enclosure.

Fortunately, in this case, Wildlife World Zoo assured everyone that the jaguar would not be put down.

There were numerous animal lovers clamouring for the safety of the creature, and they also expressed their relief online.

Lesson learnt

Following treatment, the woman was later brought back to the zoo on the same day to apologise, according to a spokesperson from the fire department.

According to NBC news, she described her actions as “foolish”.

While the zoo makes it clear that it’s “not a wild animal’s fault when barriers are crossed”, they ended of their tweet by saying that they will be sending prayers to the woman and her family.

Top photo from NBC News /Youtube and Nathan Rupert / Flickr  (not the actual jaguar)

About Ashley Tan

Ashley can kill the cockroach in your kitchen but will still scream if a big bug lands on her.

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