Woman Tries to Take Selfie with Jaguar, Gets Attacked

A woman was rushed to hospital in Mexico last Friday, having been attacked by a caged jaguar in a local zoo after reaching into its enclosure to take a selfie.

The 30-year-old victim, identified only as Noemí, of Puebla, was injured while visiting the "Bio Zoo" in Córdoba, Veracruz, with members of her family. She allegedly passed over a security line to snap a picture close to the big cat and was mauled on the arm, La República reported.

The woman was pulled from the animal by zoo staff and taken to the Córdoba general hospital for treatment by Red Cross paramedics, Posta reported.

The attack resulted in injuries to a tendon in the woman's arm and medical experts said the limb may have to be amputated, according to El Gráfico.

Images published by local media show surgeons treating lacerations to the arm.

Gonzalo Rodríguez Díaz, a legal representative for the zoo, said the woman was at fault for the incident as she broke the organization's policies by reaching into the cat's cage.

"The zoo has regulations such as not reaching out, not approaching animals, not throwing food at them, we had never had an accident of this kind because the regulation had not been violated. [She] crossed the rail to take a selfie," he told El Universal (via La República).

The zoo said the animal will not face consequences. Reports indicate the zoo will pay for some of the woman's hospital bills but it has denied culpability as the jaguar did not leave its enclosure.

Images of paramedics responding to the scene were published by The Daily Mail. The woman's current medical condition was not immediately clear.

"When regulations are not respected these problems occur," Díaz said. He added that the zoo complies with wildlife laws regarding the fair treatment of animals.

It's not the first time an over-eager selfie-taker has been injured by a jaguar in a zoo. In March last year, a woman in Arizona was mauled after climbing over a barrier inside the Wildlife World Zoo in a failed attempt to take a picture with the caged big cat. The animal lunged at her.

"The visitor sustained non-life-threatening injuries to their hand from one of our female jaguar," zoo spokesperson Kristy Morcom told The Arizona Republic at the time. "At the request of the family, paramedics were called. At no time was the animal out of its enclosure."

Footage of the incident was published online, showing the woman on the ground and screaming in pain. After recovering, the woman apologized to the zoo, NPR reported.

"We promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar," Wildlife World Zoo wrote on Twitter at the time. "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."

According to National Geographic, jaguars are the largest species of big cat in South America. With a declining population, they are described as being in a "near threatened" condition.

Jaguar in zoo
A jaguar strolls through its enclosure at the Zooparc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan, central France, on April 14, 2017. A woman was rushed to hospital in Mexico last Friday after she was reportedly attacked by a caged jaguar in a local zoo after reaching into its enclosure to take a selfie. GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty