*GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Embedded video contains scenes of graphic injury and screaming*
A woman was reportedly injured after she jumped a fence surrounding the jaguar enclosure at Arizona’s Wildlife World Zoo.
The woman was apparently trying to take a selfie with the jaguar when she bypassed barriers to access the enclosure, where she sustained minor injuries from the frightened jaguar.
Fox 10 Phoenix shared a video of the aftermath to their Twitter page:
#BREAKING: Rural Metro has responded to a report of a woman getting attacked by a jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo.
Courtesy: Adam Wilkerson pic.twitter.com/PMUFL5BWUy
— FOX 10 Phoenix (@FOX10Phoenix) March 10, 2019
The zoo released a statement on Twitter shortly after the incident:
“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) March 10, 2019
Twitter users were not very sympathetic to the woman’s plight, given that she had willfully crossed a barrier and ended up in the enclosure:
She got exactly what she had coming. You never climb into an enclosure with any wild animal or even pet that you do not know. This can happen also with horses, dogs, etc at home. Animals will always act when they feel threatened by an unfamiliar person. pic.twitter.com/EdD0ZjLxi2
— Lisirah the Great (@lisirah) March 11, 2019
Safety barrier: *Exists*
— Dapper@FurTheMore (@DapperDurg) March 11, 2019
Some people were quite concerned about the health and future of the jaguar, though.
What a terrifying event. That poor jaguar.
— Megan LeBlanc (@msmeganl) March 11, 2019
Others demanded the zoo not euthanize the jaguar, who was only acting on instinct.
Please don’t kill the Jaguar. It’s the woman’s fault for her injuries. She willingly crossed the barrier just for a photo. She was in the wrong. She put herself in danger and the jaguar acted on instinct. It’s all her fault, not the poor animals.
— Jasmine (@Okaythisisweird) March 11, 2019
Several people also called for the woman to face legal or financial consequences for her ill-advised photo shoot.
She needs to be prosecuted for failure to adhere to safety rules. This was no accident. This was blatant disregard for rules. Her actions put keepers – and that beautiful jaguar – in danger. Her stupidity should not go unpunished.
— Sarabeth Pollock (@SarabethPollock) March 10, 2019
I hope you guys fine her. Preferably press treaspassing charges
— Invictus (@InvictusFrags) March 11, 2019
SHE. PUT. HERSELF. IN. THAT. SITUATION. She quite literally did it to herself.
— Q @ Eddie Brock, Symbiote Lover (@Yorak_Keith) March 10, 2019
Can we sue her on behalf of the jaguar
— TC71 (@TCollinge71) March 10, 2019
Mickey Ollson, director of the zoo, told AZfamily.com that:
“There’s no way to fix people crossing barriers. That happens occasionally. And we put substantial barriers there and if people cross them, they can get in trouble.”
Zoo spokesperson Kristy Morcom told Arizona’s Family Sunday that the jaguar has been removed from the exhibit while the incident is investigated, but the cat will not be euthanized.
The Daily Beast reports that the woman has since returned to the zoo to speak with administrators and has admitted that she was at fault in the incident. She said she loved the zoo and “feels horrible about the bad publicity the zoo is getting regarding the incident.”