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Zoo Guest Crosses Cage Barrier to Take Selfie, Is Promptly Clawed by Jaguar

The zoo may be designed for children, but that doesn't mean you can let your guard down. Sometimes chimpanzees escape using makeshift ladders, and other times cougars intimidate beloved family pets. These are beasts you're dealing with, after all...

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The zoo may be designed for children, but that doesn't mean you can let your guard down. Sometimes chimpanzees escape using makeshift ladders, and other times cougars intimidate beloved family pets. These are beasts you're dealing with, after all, not house cats. 

For an illustration of this principle, consider this incident: a zoo guest was clawed by a jaguar on Saturday after crossing the barrier of a jaguar cage to take a selfie. This happened in Arizona at Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park near Phoenix. According to CNN, the woman is in her 30s and her injuries weren't life-threatening. But she was taken to the hospital. Because she was clawed by a goddamn jaguar.  

The only video we have is of people tending to the woman after she was attacked, so we don't know exactly how this went down. But be warned, even this video is a little graphic.

Because, again, she was clawed by a goddamn jaguar. 

A witness who came to the woman's aid told KPHO that he'd heard someone yelling for help. "Without thinking, I had no idea what I was going to see, I just ran over there," he said. "I saw the other girl up against the fence with her arm caught in the jaguar's claws."

"I could see the claws in her actual flesh," he said. His mother then threw a water bottle into the cage to distract the cat. "When my mom put the water bottle through the gate, the jaguar let go of the girl. And we pulled the girl back and she collapsed."

He didn't see how the attack started, but the local fire department told KPHO that the woman was "attempting to take a selfie near the fence of the Jaguar enclosure when the cat reached out and attacked her arm."

After the attack, the zoo tweeted out this statement: "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 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."

Wildlife World Zoo Director Mickey Ollson told ABC 15 the jaguar, which is around 5-years-old, wouldn't be euthanized because it "was not the animal's fault and they would never harm an animal based on human behavior."

"For the past 35 years, Wildlife World Zoo has served literally hundreds of thousands and over a million customers with very few injuries," he added, "and usually those injuries result from misbehavior of the visitor or human error."

h/tKPHO, CNNABC 15


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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.