A woman jumped a zoo safety barrier for a selfie with a jaguar. It didn’t end well.
How far would you go to get the perfect selfie?
One Arizona woman was apparently willing to go within reach of a caged jaguar. On Saturday evening, according to a CNN report, she hopped over the Wildlife World Zoo’s safety barrier and went right up to the animal’s cage, camera in hand.
That daring move had horrific results. Zoo officials say that the jaguar, without leaving its cage, slashed the woman’s arm, embedding its claws into her skin and leaving her with severe lacerations.
The jaguar attack
A woman suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a jaguar while attempting to take a selfie at an Arizona zoo.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 11, 2019
One guest named Adam Wilkerson told CNN that he rushed over to the scene after hearing a woman screaming for help. When he arrived, he says the woman was pressed against the cage, her arm caught in the jaguar’s claws.
“I could see the claws in her actual flesh,” Wilkerson says.
Wilkerson says that his mother managed to distract the jaguar by shoving her water bottle through the cage. When the bottle fell in, the jaguar released its grip enough for him to pull her free.
“If it weren’t for my mom’s quick thinking with the water bottle,” Wilkerson says, “that jaguar would not have let go of the poor girl’s arm.”
Help arrived after a zoo employee called 9-1-1 and an ambulance rushed the woman to the hospital. She was left with a gash on her arm that required stitches. The woman, however, is expected to recover.
The attack has provoked extreme reactions online ever since Wilkerson uploaded a video of the aftermath to the website Reddit with the header: “My mom, myself and others just saved a girl who’s hand was captured by a Jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo.”
Most have been unsympathetic, pointing the blame on the woman for getting close to the jaguar in the first place.
She climbed over a barrier and tried to get a selfie with the jaguar.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 10, 2019
That includes the injured woman herself, who, according to zoo officials, has since contacted Wildlife World Zoo to take the blame for what happened and to apologize for giving them bad publicity.
Acc. to @ZooWildlife: “Victim contacted the zoo and wanted to speak to the owner. She came out on Sunday and met with the owner Mickey Ollson. She told him she loves the zoo and feels horrible about the bad publicity the zoo is getting regarding the incident…” pic.twitter.com/e2bK5BnqYf
— Lindsey Reiser (@LindseyReiser) March 11, 2019
The big cat, the zoo says, will not be euthanized over the attack. They say that the enclosure meets federal safety standards. The jaguar will, however, be temporarily taken off of the exhibit.
More to the story
When KSL Newsradio’s Dave and Dujanovic talked about this story on the air, they invited their listeners to call in and share the craziest, most dangerous things they’ve done to get a good photograph – and shared stories of their own.
If you missed their conversation live on the air, you can still hear their stories – including Dave’s close call with a bobcat and Debbie’s with a grizzly bear – on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.
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