A woman who jumped a barrier at an Arizona zoo in order to get a selfie with a jaguar was attacked when the animal clawed her through a fence.
Officials at the Wildlife World Zoo just outside of Phoenix, Arizona say that on March 9, the woman disregarded the barrier keeping visitors safely separated from the jaguar enclosure in order to take a photo with the animal.
According to an eyewitness, the jaguar was able to get a paw through the fence, clawing the woman and leaving deep gashes in her skin:
“The jaguar has clasped its claws outside of the cage around her hand and into her flesh,” Adam Wilkerson told Fox News.
His mother then distracted the animal with a water bottle while he pulled the selfie-taker to safety:
“My mom thinks of how to distract the jaguar and she grabs her water bottle and she shoves it through the cage, right near where the jaguar is.
The jaguar lets go of the girl somewhat because the claw catches on just her sweater. At that moment, I grabbed the girl around the torso and pulled her away from the cage and it unlatches from her claw.”
That is very quick thinking on both Wilkerson’s and his mother’s parts. “Freaking the fuck out” seems like it would be a bystander’s natural response to a jaguar attack, so good on her for choosing logic over fight or flight. Thanks to these two, the woman is going to be okay.
The incident marks the second time this month a zoo visitor has agitated this particular jaguar in order to get a photo. The zoo says the attack was down to “human error,” and the jaguar will not be euthanized.