A woman has been attacked by a jaguar after “crossing over a barrier to get a photo” at a safari park in Arizona.
Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park said the unnamed victim suffered non-life threatening injuries to her hand from a female jaguar.
US media reports the woman was trying to take a selfie near the fence of the enclosure when the big cat reached out and grabbed her arm.
Adam Wilkerson, who posted a video of the incident on Reddit, described it as “pandemonium”.
In his post, he said he was visiting the park near Phoenix with his family when he heard a young woman “screaming for help” and saw that her hand was up against the enclosure fence, in the grasp of the jaguar’s claws.
“My mom runs up and the only thing she can think to do is to push her water bottle through the hold of the cage near the jaguar,” he said.
“It takes the bait and unclasps the girl, but its claws are now still attached only to her sweater.
“At that moment I put my arm around the girl’s torso and pull her away. A couple of other people are there pulling as well. She lies on the ground screaming in agony.”
The zoo posted a statement to its Twitter page, saying: “We regret to inform, before closing there was an incident involving a guest, who crossed over a barrier to get a photo, according to eyewitnesses.
“The visitor sustained non-life threatening injuries to their arm from one of our jaguars. At the request of the family, paramedics were called.”
It added that the animal had remained within the enclosure and the incident was being investigated.
The park also confirmed nothing would happen to the jaguar and said it was “not a wild animal’s fault when barriers are crossed”.
In response to a user who commented “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Jaguar was just being a big cat”, the park said “thank you for understanding”.
The Wildlife World Zoo says on its website that it has the “largest collection of exotic and endangered animals, with more than 600 separate species”.
This is not the first time visitors have been attacked by big cats at zoo parks – in 2014, a student was mauled to death by white tigers at Delhi Zoo after he fell into the enclosure.
In a separate attack the same year, an 11-year-old boy lost his right arm after reaching inside a tiger enclosure at Cascavel Zoo in Brazil.
(c) Sky News 2019: Woman attacked by jaguar while ‘trying to take selfie’ at Arizona zoo