The panther, sensing a threat, pounced at the woman, striking her arm with its massive claws and penetrating deeply into her flesh. The woman began to scream, alerting other zoo visitors who saw the animal push her up against the fence of the enclosure.
One man, Adam Wilkerson, was enjoying the zoo with his family when he heard the screams, and ran over to help.
“Without thinking, I had no idea what I was going to see, I just ran over there,” he said. “I saw the other girl up against the fence with her arm caught in the jaguar’s claws. I could see the claws in her actual flesh.”
Athough Wilkerson wanted to help, he was also worried that he would make the situation worse if he attempted to pull the woman away.
Finally, his mother ran to the fence and shoved her water bottle through, hoping to distract the animal.
“When my mom put the water bottle through the gate, the jaguar let go of the girl,” said Wilkerson. “And we pulled the girl back and she collapsed.”
Zoo employees called 911, saying that the woman was in severe pain and that her arm was seriously damaged. Luckily, her injuries were not life-threatening - she was admitted to the hospital, but is expected to recover.
When the news broke on social media, the vast majority of people had one of two things to say. Firstly, that the woman was incredibly dumb for putting herself in that situation to begin with, and secondly, expressing concern that the panther might be put down after attacking her, despite not being at fault.
Well, after the incident, Wildlife World Zoo have issued a statement regarding the situation.
“We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar,” read a tweet from the zoo. “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.”
The woman has since apologized to the zoo and expressed regret for her actions, saying she is sorry that the zoo has received negative attention on the internet because of her decision. The zoo did nothing wrong in this situation - the signage was clear, and the unnamed woman chose to ignore it and put herself in danger.
Personally, I'm glad that this beautiful animal won't have to be put to sleep because of the silly action of one of the visitors. Do you guys agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.