How Strangers Helped Rescue Woman Attacked by Jaguar at Zoo

Geraldine Edwards
March 12, 2019

A woman who was grabbed by a jaguar while reportedly attempting to take a selfie at an Arizona zoo has apologized for the incident, according to local reports.

Officials from the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park replied to a woman who threatened to not return to the zoo if the female jaguar were to be put down stating, "She won't be put down".

In response to multiple inquiries on Twitter about what would happen to the jaguar, the zoo said she would not be put down and that it is not the animal's fault when barriers are crossed. "Still sending prayers to her and her family", the zoo posted on late Saturday evening.

"I hear a young girl screaming for help".

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"Without thinking, I had no idea what I was going to see, I just ran over there".

"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 told the news station.

A witness told CNN that his mom distracted the jaguar with a water bottle during the attack and the animal let go of the woman's arm.

Last summer, a male jaguar escaped from an enclosure at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and went on a rampage, killing nine other animals at the zoo: five alpaca, three foxes and an emu.

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A spokeswoman said the injured visitor had returned to the facility and said she felt bad about the publicity it was getting.

Several people rushed over to help but it was a mother and son - Michele Flores and Adam Wilkerson - who pulled her to safety.

Zoo officials said the woman received several stitches at a nearby hospital but was not kept overnight. Once over the wall, the woman turned her back to the cage to snap the selfie.

The jaguar was removed from the exhibit as the zoo investigates what happened, and officials said it won't be put down because it wasn't to blame.

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