An Arizona woman was attacked by a jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park after crossing over the barrier to get a photo, leaving her with injuries that required medical attention. Fire department officials say the woman was trying to take a selfie near the fence of the jaguar enclosure when the animal reached out and attacked her arm.
The zoo tweeted the woman was attacked by a female jaguar and cited witness accounts. “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 … please understand why barriers are put in place. Sending prayers to the family tonight.”
One witness, Adam Wilkerson, said he was at the zoo with his family when someone came running around the corner 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.” Wilkerson said he was standing behind the woman, but didn’t want to pull her off. He said, “I could see the claws in her actual flesh.”
In an effort to distract the jaguar, Wilkerson said, his mother shoved a water bottle through the cage. The bottle caught the jaguar’s attention and it let go of the victim. “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,” he said.
The unidentified victim was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. There were reportedly no employees nearby during the incident.
View this post on Instagram