It was a Saturday night at the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, Arizona, when screams broke out near the jaguar enclosure.
A 30-something woman was trapped up against a fence — with one of her arms caught in the grip of a female jaguar’s claws.
There were no staff members present during those few critical moments between life and death, so someone from the crowd pushed a water bottle through the jaguar’s cage. The big cat was distracted by the bottle and released her grip from the woman’s arm.
The panicked group of zoo-goers pulled the woman back from the fence, and she collapsed on the ground. She sustained non-life-threatening injuries to her arm and has since been released from the hospital.
But it’s the circumstances surrounding the attack that are making headlines. The woman was reportedly trying to take a selfie in front of the jaguar enclosure.
Instead of following the zoo’s rules, she crossed over the barrier, and that’s when the terrifying incident occurred.
The unnamed woman has apologized for her poorly thought-out plan and says she “feels horrible” about the negative publicity the zoo is facing.
Meanwhile, the Wildlife World Zoo has confirmed the jaguar will not be put down. “We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar,” the zoo said. “She’s a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe — not a wild animal’s fault when barriers are crossed. Still sending prayers to her and her family.”
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