Wildlife World Zoo says it won't put down jaguar that attacked a woman taking a photo

Nathan J. Fish and Mike Cruz and Perry Vandell

PHOENIX – A jaguar attacked a woman who reportedly crossed over a barrier while trying to take a photo Saturday at a Phoenix-area wildlife park, according to fire officials. In a tweet Saturday, the zoo said it would not be euthanizing the jungle cat.

Rural Metro Fire crews responded to "a report of a lady attacked by a jaguar" about 6:40 p.m. at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park in Litchfield Park, said Shawn Gilleland, a spokesman for Rural Metro Fire.

Crews found a woman at the zoo with lacerations to her arm, and she was taken to a hospital, Gilleland said.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Park responded to a woman on Twitter claiming she would never visit the park again if the jaguar was euthanized due to the incident.

"She won't be put down," the park's official Twitter account replied. 

The majority of social media comments blamed the woman for endangering herself and hoped the jaguar wouldn't be punished.

More: More than 250 have people died while trying to take selfies, study finds

More: Tourists dangle their legs, snap pics over cliffs that could collapse

Zoo officials released a statement Saturday about the incident.​​​​​​​

"We regret to inform that this evening, before closing there was an incident reported involving a guest, who crossed over the barrier to get a photo, according to eye witnesses,"  according to the email statement from Kristy Morcom, a spokeswoman for the Wildlife World Zoo. 

"The visitor sustained non life threatening injuries to their hand from one of our female jaguars. At the request of the family, paramedics were called. At no time was the animal out of its enclosure," the statement continued. 

The incident is being fully investigated, according to the zoo.

The zoo is a USDA-licensed, private facility accredited by the Zoological Association of America and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums, according to its website. The facility has more than 600 species and 6,000 animals on display, the website stated. 

The USDA didn't find any compliance issues with the facility during its most recent routine inspection in March 2018.

Follow Mike Cruz and Perry Vandell on Twitter: @mikecnews and @PerryVandell

​​​​​​​

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Wildlife World Zoo says it won't put down jaguar that attacked a woman taking a photo