We all love a great Instagram photo. Nowadays, if you don’t “do it for the ‘Gram,” did you really even have an experience at all? As a result, sometimes people can get a little overzealous when it comes to getting the perfect pic. Sometimes that leads to serious consequences — as was the case for a woman who was attacked by a jaguar with visiting Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park in Litchfield Park, AZ on Saturday.
The woman allegedly intentionally crossed over barriers to try and get a selfie with a female jag near the fence of the jaguar enclosure when the animal reached out and grabbed her arm. First responders were called and she was taken to the hospital where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, which is great for her but raised concerns from many who heard the story — as zoo animals who attack people are often euthanized.
The zoo staff quickly realized the jaguar had not, in fact, gotten a random hankering for a human. It had simply been reacting to someone new invading its (already limited) space.
Now here’s the deal: getting a selfie with a jaguar would be super dope. Comments and likes galore. We get it. But it’s high time we respect animals for their immense strength, and straight up just follow rules like we have some home-training. If a sign says stay out or there is a barrier, stay out! Who can forget Harambe, the gorilla who was shot and killed after dragging a 3-year-old who had fallen into the gorilla enclosure at a Cincinnati zoo? Now of course, the kiddo didn’t walk in there himself and there was talk of the enclosure being faulty, but that situation, like this one, could have easily been avoided.
If we’re going to capture animals and stick them in cages for our enjoyment, the least we can do is respect their space, and know that just because they have been caged does not mean they are any less wild at heart. Boundaries are put in place so no one gets hurt when animals do what they’re wired to do — protect themselves. The bottom line is that zoo animals are probably scared of all these humans with flashing camera lights and mini-humans who bang on the walls of their enclosures, and disturbing them any more will only end badly.
Meanwhile, the woman who was attacked seems to have realized she was fully in the wrong. She’s already been back to the zoo to apologize.