Woman injured in jaguar attack at World Wildlife Zoo

Photo by Rural Metro Fire Department

A woman sustained lacerations to her arm after a reported jaguar attack at a zoo in the West Valley, according to fire officials.

Rural Metro Fire Department reports the woman was treated and then taken to a hospital around 6:40 p.m. Saturday after she was reportedly attacked by a jaguar at the zoo.

“She was transported code 3 to a local hospital,” Shawn Gilleland, public information officer for Rural Metro.

World Wildlife Zoo is located off Loop 303 and Northern Avenue, about an 8-mile drive from Litchfield Park.

The zoo released a statement regarding the incident and what may have led up to the attack. It later said the jaguar would not be put down.

“We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar,” the zoo stated via Twitter. “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.”

A spokeswoman for the zoo said the woman later returned to the facility and said she felt bad about the publicity it was getting.

Video shows a woman on the ground with deep gashes and blood, writhing in pain.

Michele Flores was at the zoo with her son and grandchildren when she saw the attack, the Associated Press reports. Ms. Flores said she used a water bottle to distract the jaguar, which let go of the woman and grabbed the bottle.

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