A WOMAN has been mauled by a jaguar after climbing over a zoo fence to take a selfie with the dangerous animal.
Onlookers reacted with terror after the animal clawed at the woman’s hand at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park in Litchfield Park, Arizona.
The jaguar only let go when another woman succeeded in distracting her with a water bottle.
Paramedics were called to the scene with the injured selfie-taker transported to hospital where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The selfie-taker was taken to hospital by paramedics where she was treated for non-threatening injuries.
Writing on Reddit, eyewitness Adam Wilkerson described hearing “pandemonium” before rushing over to see the distressing scene unfolding at the zoo.
“I hear a young girl screaming for help. I rush over and see this girl with her hand up against the Jaguar enclosure fence with a black Jaguar’s claws in its grasp," he wrote on Reddit.
”If it weren’t for my mom’s quick thinking with the water bottle that Jaguar would not have let go of the poor girls arm. We’re still in shock from it all.”
Wildlife World Zoo issued a statement on Twitter that read:
“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."
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
Another statement later added: “We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar. ‘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 her and her family.”
The zoo has confirmed that the five-year-old female jaguar will not be euthanised following the incident, which was blamed on human behaviour.