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Jaguar attacks woman taking selfie at Arizona zoo

Posted at 6:29 AM, Mar 10, 2019

PHOENIX — A woman is recovering after she was attacked by a jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park in Litchfield Park, Arizona, Saturday evening.

Fire crews who responded to the scene said the woman was trying to take a selfie near the fence of the jaguar enclosure when the cat reached out and attacked her arm.

Officials said she was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Adam Wilkerson, who recorded video of the incident, said he was with his mother and his two kids near the jaguar enclosure when he heard screaming and saw the jaguar’s claws grasping a woman’s hand.

“It seems like pandemonium. Everyone yelling for help,” he wrote in a Reddit post.

He said his mother distracted the jaguar with a water bottle and it let go of the woman.

“We’re still in shock from it all,” he wrote.

"This is the second time the female jaguar has swiped at someone," said Wildlife World Zoo Director Mickey Ollson.

Ollson said the 4- to 5-year-old cat will not be euthanized because it, "was not the animal's fault and they would never harm an animal based on human behavior."

"I think you observe the barriers — they are there for a good reason. We try to keep everyone safe, we have an excellent safety record here with all our animals. For the past 35 years, Wildlife World Zoo has served literally hundreds of thousands and over a million customers with very few injuries and usually those injuries result from misbehavior of the visitor or human error. Every time that you have an incident in a zoo, you're going to double check it and meet with your staff try to figure out a way to stop that incident from happening again. But again, when people do not respect the barriers, there's always a chance there might be a problem."

Zoo officials tweeted the following statement Saturday night:

The Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park has the "largest collection of exotic and endangered animals, with more than 600 separate species," according to its website .