An adult woman, who has now been identified as Leanne, was mauled by a jaguar after leaning over the protective barrier to take a memorable selfie with the beast.
Instead of ending up with a picture that she could brag with, however, the woman will have scars to remind her of her actions for the rest of her life.
According to the witnesses who were at the Phoenix’s Wildlife World Zoo at the time of the incident, Leanne climbed onto the barricade and leaned towards the animal.
Before she could take a selfie, however, the jaguar took a swipe at the zoo visitor. The attack left the woman crying in pain and the paramedics were called to the zoo to treat her wounds.
Following the incident, the Wildlife World Zoo released a statement saying:
“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 eyewitnesses.
“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.”
Sharing a section of the statement on Twitter, the WWZ added: “Please understand why barriers are put in place. Sending prayers to the family tonight.”
Days after the incident, Leanne also spoke out to CBS News and partially blamed the zoo for the attack.
“The black jaguar was up against the fence we happened to be walking by and said ‘hey, let’s get some good pictures.’ I was in the wrong for leaning over the barrier, but I think the zoo should consider moving their fence back,” she said.
“Anybody can reach out. I’m not the first, and if they don’t move the fence, I’m probably not going to be the last.”
The director of the zoo, Mickey Ollson, also spoke out and defended the institution while reassuring everyone that the animal won’t suffer any consequences because of the woman’s actions.
“We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar,” WWZ tweeted.
“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 (the woman) and her family.”
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