A jaguar recently attacked a zoo visitor who allegedly crossed a designated safety barrier for photo.
According to ABC World News, the attack took place at the Wildlife World Zoo, which is in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Reports indicate that the woman climbed over a barrier on order to take a photo with the animal and ended up incurring injuries to her arms.
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
Following the incident, Wildlife World Zoo spokesperson Kristy Morcom issued a formal statement on the matter, explaining what happened.
"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 statement read. "The visitor sustained non life-threatening injuries to their hand 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 zoo also stated that the jaguar will not be euthanized, as its territory was invaded and it was merely responding to what it saw as a threat.
"We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar," the zoo said. "She's a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe- not a wild animals (sic) fault when barriers are crossed. Still sending prayers to her and her family."
Did you know...— Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park (@ZooWildlife) January 4, 2019
WWZ was the first institution in the 🌎 to exhibit big cats above visitor’s heads starting in 1985 w/ the black jaguar exhibit. The jaguars benefited from the enrichment & our visitors loved it! #NationalTriviaDay #FunFact #Jaguar #Enrichment
(📷: L Fuentes) pic.twitter.com/rp8CN4dHt5
The zoo has also shared that the woman involved in the incident "met privately with zoo officials to acknowledge her regret for her role" in the incident.
"She did receive stitches, but was not admitted into the hospital and was home later that night," they added.
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
At this time, the identity of the woman involved in the incident has not been released.