The quest for an Instagrammable image continues to lead to a handful of people placing themselves in serious danger.
Case in point: A woman in her 30s was attacked by a jaguar at a zoo near Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, March 9, when she tried to snap a selfie with the animal. She ended up hospitalized with injuries to one of her arms, CNN reported.
The unnamed woman reportedly passed a safety barrier to get closer to the jaguar at the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park.
After the attack, zoo director Mickey Ollson pointed out that the barriers were “there for a good reason,” adding that there was “no way to fix people crossing barriers.”
Ollson said that as the incident was the result of human actions, the jaguar would not be euthanized. The zoo’s Twitter account later confirmed that the animal was safe.
We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar. She’s a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe- not a wild animals fault when barriers are crossed. Still sending prayers to her and her family.
— Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park (@ZooWildlife) March 10, 2019
Adam Wilkerson was visiting the zoo with his family on Saturday when he heard a commotion nearby.
“Without thinking, I had no idea what I was going to see, I just ran over there,” Wilkerson said in comments reported by CNN. “I saw the girl up against the fence with her arm caught in the jaguar’s claws.”
He said he couldn’t pull the woman away because the jaguar’s claws had dug into her flesh.
Saving the day, and possibly the woman’s life, Wilkerson’s quick-thinking mother shoved a water bottle into the cage in the hope that it would distract the jaguar and prompt it to release the selfie snapper. The ruse worked.
The incident is the latest in a growing list of dangerous acts where people have edged too close to an animal in an effort to grab that special shot. And sometimes it can end really badly. Last year, a man in India was attacked and killed by a bear that he tried to take a selfie with, despite being warned by his friends not to approach it. Sometimes, though, it’s the animal that suffers, like in Argentina when a group of bathers passed a baby dolphin around for selfies, leading to the animal’s death.
Instagram warned its community in 2017 of the need to be more considerate when taking photos with animals, asking users to be mindful of the impact their actions may have on its welfare when they point a camera in its direction.