By Tinxi/shutterstock

Woman Injured After Jaguar Selfie. Will Big Cat Be Now Euthanized?

by | April 8, 2019

Few incidents happen to open our eyes. Just recently the news of a woman being scraped by a jaguar while taking a selfie swept the internet in and out. She crossed the borders to get to freeze a moment with her and jaguar. Only to her scariest nightmares, she got scratched by the animal.  Was the zoo short of fencing? Will the jaguar be euthanized? Read on to know more.

Spared with a deep gash on her wrists (fortunateky), the woman learned the lesson of her life. She climbed past a barrier trying to click a selfie with a jaguar in a zoo in Arizona. The animal consequently attacked the woman. The woman identified Leanne, 30, said that she decided to “get some good pictures” of her and the animal when she saw the Jaguar leaning against the cage. She then leaned over the safety barrier, adjusted the camera in front of the jaguar, and then happened the horrifying incident that left Leanne writhing in pain.

Credit: By ben landy/ Shutterstock
Jaguar Selfie

Adam Wilkerson, one of the witnesses, tried to distract the jaguar using a water bottle to save Leanne from the scene. She was then rushed to a hospital where she was treated for her non-life-threatening injuries that needed stitches.

The zoo’s director Mickey Olson said incidents as such have potential to put visitors into problems as long as they don’t abide by the restrictions of barriers. There is no way to stop visitors from crossing barriers. There are enough barriers installed, and if visitors choose not to abide by them (barriers), they’ll land themselves into trouble, reported Meaww.com.

Quoting the victim, CBS News reported-

“I was in the wrong for leaning over the barrier, but I do think that maybe the zoo should look into.”

Leanne said, “Anybody can reach out. I’m not the first, and if they don’t move the fence, I’m probably not going to be the last.”

Leanne, who ignored Zoo safety fencing for jaguar selfie

“I never expected this. I feel like we’re all human, we make mistakes, and I learned my lesson.”

Was the Zoo Short of Safe-Fencing Allowing The Jaguar Selfie?

A report from the New York Times stated- the incident took place on Saturday at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park in Litchfield Park, Arizona. At around 6:40 PM, emergency workers recovered an injured Leanne crying in pain.

jaguar selfie
Credit: By mooremedia/ Shutterstock

Speaking of the incident, an eye-witness said, “This zoo, in particular, is a lot more open in terms of how close you can get to these animals,” referring to the barrier as “a little bit above waist height.” He is 5foot 9. He said the witness was “more of a reach than a climb” by the injured woman. However, he clarified the barrier was otherwise safe for them who won’t try to lean on. The woman apologized for her fault.

Much like the accident with Leanne, last summer a similar incident happened in the same enclosure. The victim, Jeff Allan who was scratched by the same cat, requiring eight stitches also complained about the zoo of putting the barrier too close. The zoo officials back then stated that rules were breached, said a report by CBS News.

Will the Jaguar be Euthanized?

After two similar incidents happening with the same cat, that too in the same zoo, concerns regarding the safety of the jaguar arose. An incident from 2016 where gorilla Harambe attacked a three-year-old boy had to be euthanized in the Cincinnati Zoo. In this case, it sparked concerns for the safety of the jaguar. In the case of Harambe then, many did not fault the animal and the kill was severly censured.

According to the Daily Mail, a study conducted by the NCBI determined as much as 259 fatalities took place between October 2011 to November 2017 and all were related to taking a selfie. In most cases, the victims were involved in high-risk activities like standing at the edge of a cliff and the like.

To many people’s sigh of relief, the Wildlife World Zoo assuring a worried twitter user about if the Jaguar will be euthanized confirmed the jaguar will be safe.

jaguar selfie
Credit: @ZooWildlife/ Twitter
‘Jaguar Selfie’

Sometimes we ought to reconsider our casual approach around wild animals. Whereas it is okay trying to get a good selfie, but that should be done responsibly. Let’s keep selfie next to safety! What do you say? Let me know in the comment below.


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