Warning: Some readers may find details featured in this story disturbing.
It’s not every day that being mauled by a wild animal inspires someone to rethink their decisions, but that’s just the case after a jaguar attack at an Arizona zoo...
On Saturday, a woman visiting the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park was attacked by the big cat after jumping a barrier around its enclosure. Witnesses told local news outlets she was trying to take a selfie with the animal when it pinned her to its cage with its paw.
Adam Wilkerson, who recorded the aftermath of the attack, described the scene to Fox 10:
"I hear this young girl screaming 'help, help, help' and without thinking, I just run over there," he remembered.
"I see another girl with her up against the cage of the jaguar and the jaguar has clasped its claws outside of the cage around her hand and into her flesh."
Wilkerson’s mother threw her water bottle into the jaguar’s enclosure to distract it, as he pulled the injured woman to safety.
Warning: This video is graphic.
***WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO*** BREAKING: Rural Metro has responded to a report of a woman getting attacked by a jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo. Courtesy: Adam WilkersonPosted by FOX 10 Phoenix on Saturday, March 9, 2019
The zoo shared a warning to visitors on Twitter after news of the attack broke. "Please understand why barriers are put in place," they wrote. "At no time was the animal out of its enclosure."
The park also assured concerned animal lovers that the jaguar, a female about four years old, would not be put down because of the attack.
"We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar," they wrote. "She’s a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe- not a wild animals fault [sic] when barriers are crossed. Still sending prayers to her and her family."
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
The zoo revealed the same jaguar scratched another visitor last year, after he also reached over the barrier to photograph the cat.
Many were surprised when the victim herself agreed with the zoo, and apologized for provoking the animal and jumping over the barrier.
A spokesperson for the zoo says the woman returned after being treated for her injuries, and said she "feels horrible about the bad publicity the zoo is getting regarding the incident."