Video: Woman Pays Painful Price for Selfie with Jaguar, Zoo Says 2nd Time in a Month

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Unless we’re dealing with a car, taking a selfie with a jaguar isn’t a particularly good idea. Sadly, a woman at a zoo just outside of Phoenix found that out the hard way when she was attacked by the predator.

According to the BBC, the incident at the Wildlife World Zoo on Saturday was the second such incident in a month.

Good Morning America” reported that the woman was attempting to take a selfie with the jungle cat at the zoo when it reached out and took a swipe at her.

Zoo visitor Adam Wilkerson recorded video of the painful aftermath. He said he ran over when he heard someone yelling “Help!” WARNING: Graphic footage ahead. Viewer discretion is advised.

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“The jaguar has clasped its claws outside of the cage around her hand and into her flesh,” he said.

“My mom thinks of how to distract the jaguar and she grabs her water bottle and she shoves it through the cage, right near where the jaguar is.

“The jaguar lets go of the girl somewhat because the claw catches on just her sweater. At that moment, I grabbed the girl around the torso and pulled her away from the cage and it unlatches from her claw,” he continued.

Do you think the jaguar should have been euthanized?

“The jaguar just goes after the bottle.”

The identity of the woman isn’t known, though the BBC reported that she was in her thirties.

“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 zoo said in a statement.

“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 statement added. “The incident is being fully investigated.”

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“This is the second time the female jaguar has swiped at someone,” Wildlife World Zoo Director Mickey Ollson told KNXV-TV.

However, it won’t be euthanized because the incident “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,” Ollson said.

“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.”

There is indeed. Not that there’s anything morally wrong with keeping wild animals in a zoo, but these are wild animals. Thank God this woman wasn’t gravely injured, but “visitor or human error” is a nice way of saying visitor or human stupidity.

There’s a reason the barriers are there and it’s not to prevent you from having fun. It’s there because, if you lack the capacity to realize that taking a selfie with a jaguar is a bad idea, it tells you not to take a picture with a jaguar.

Yes, humans are the apex predators in this world; that’s the reason why we’re able to keep jaguars in zoos. (A fact animal rights activists aren’t necessarily too keen about.) However, we sometimes forget that there is a food chain and that other animals don’t think about coexistence with predators — and they certainly don’t think about taking selfies with them.

Nature isn’t fragile, no matter what you may hear from the left. The only thing that’s fragile is those who forget how robust it really is.

It’s something that would be worth keeping in mind, particularly if you’re going to take a trip to the local zoo.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture