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Jaguar attacks woman trying to take selfie photo at Arizona zoo

According to witnesses, in an attempt to take a selfie photo a woman got too close to the jaguar enclosure fence at Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park near Phoenix on Saturday, March 9, 2019, when the animal reached out and attacked her. (Jaguar file photo)

According to witnesses, in an attempt to take a selfie photo a woman got too close to the jaguar enclosure fence at Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park near Phoenix on Saturday, March 9, 2019, when the animal reached out and attacked her. (Jaguar file photo)

PHOENIX — Authorities say a jaguar attacked a woman who crossed a barrier while trying to take a selfie photo Saturday at a wildlife park west of Phoenix.

According to witnesses, the woman got too close to the jaguar enclosure fence at Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park when the animal reached out and attacked.

Wildlife World Zoo authorities say emergency responders took the woman to a hospital to treat cuts on one of her arms and hand.

A witness, Adam Wilkerson, told CNN he was at the zoo with his family when he saw someone come running and yelling for help.

"Without thinking, I had no idea what I was going to see, I just ran over there...I saw the other girl up against the fence with her arm caught in the jaguar's claws," Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson's mother shoved a water bottle through the cage which worked to distract the animal, causing it to let go of the woman, Wilkerson said.

Zoo officials say the jaguar never got out of her enclosure and won’t be put down.

"We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar," the zoo said. "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."

But zoo officials also tweeted this warning,"Please understand why barriers are put in place."

photo

(Wildlife World Zoo/Courtesy)

Wildlife World Zoo has more than 600 species and 6,000 animals on display. The private facility is located about 20 miles west of Phoenix.

The name of the woman, who is in her 30s, wasn't immediately available. The incident is being investigated.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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