A woman whose arm was ripped open by a jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park was rescued by other visitors from the animal's clutches. Zoo officials said she needed several stitches to treat her wounds.

NPR Screen Grab / Adam Wilkerson on Reddit


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NPR Screen Grab / Adam Wilkerson on Reddit

A woman whose arm was kinked after jumping over a concrete barrier to take a selfie in front of a Jaguar enclosure in a zoo in Arizona apologized for breaking the rules, park officials said on Monday.

"The person in question met privately with zoo officials to acknowledge their regret for their role in the events of the past weekend … The staff and administrators of Wildlife World appreciate their sincere apology and we look forward to uniting them and their family Welcome back later "Wildlife World – Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park – Officials have posted on Twitter.

The woman, whose identity was not released, apparently tried to eliminate the guilt of the animal and said she had not been "attacked". Instead, she framed the incident as a "crazy accident," CBS reported.

Currently, the 4- to 5-year-old female Jaguar was removed from the exhibition during the investigation in the zoo. However, the officials assured that the animal will not be killed because it was provoked.

"We can promise you that nothing will happen to our Jaguar, it is a wild animal and there are suitable barriers to keep our guests safe – not the fault of wild animals when crossing barriers," zoo officials said tweet Sunday morning.

On a visit to the zoo at Litchfield Park, about 20 miles west of Phoenix, the woman climbed over a low concrete wall on Saturday to photograph herself in front of the steel fences around the jaguar exhibition. It is unclear whether she put her hand through the cage, but witnesses said the creature's claws gripped the metal barrier and clung to the woman's arm, screaming in pain.

Several people hurried to help, but there was a mother and a son – Michele Flores and Adam Wilkerson – who took her to safety.

"I hear that young [woman] scream, "Help, Help, Help," and without thinking, I just run, "Wilkerson told Fox 10.

"I see another girl directing herself against the jaguar's cage, and the jaguar has his claws wrapped around her hand and in her flesh outside the cage," Wilkerson told the news channel.

He explained that Flores, his mother, managed to distract the big cat with a plastic water bottle, which she pushed into the closed area.

When the Jaguar saw the foreign body, he loosened the woman's arm and grabbed only her orange sweatshirt.

"At that moment, I grabbed the girl around the torso and pulled it out of the cage, and it unlocks from its claw," recalls Wilkerson. "The Jaguar just goes for the bottle."

A video shot after the incident shows the woman on the floor, writhing in pain, shouting, "It hurts, it hurts." On her left forearm is a cut about three inches long.

"There is no way to overcome people who overcome barriers," said zoo director Mickey Ollson to KTVK. "That happens occasionally, and we have significant barriers here, and when people cross them, they can get into trouble."

The zoo officials said that the woman received several stitches at a nearby hospital, but was not kept overnight.

On Sunday, she returned to the zoo to express her regret over her actions. She said she loved the zoo and "feels terrible about the poor publicity the zoo gets about the incident."

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