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Woman Injured by Jaguar at Zoo Has Her Say

She disputes story of a selfie gone awry
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2019 7:09 AM CDT
File image of a jaguar.   (Getty/tane_mahuta)

(Newser) – A woman who visited an Arizona zoo and ended up becoming a national headline is disputing the widely reported view that she was a misguided selfie-seeker—though she does acknowledge being "in the wrong" for leaning over a barrier. In an interview with AZfamily.com, the woman identified only as Leanne says this about her encounter with a caged jaguar: "I never crossed the barrier. I was not trying to get a selfie. If I was trying to get a selfie, I think my injuries would be in a different place." The injuries she sustained were to an arm, which the jaguar grabbed when Leanne placed it close to the cage to take a photo. "I was never in the enclosure. I never passed the barrier, but I do admit to leaning over the barrier.”

As she explains, she leaned over the waist-high barrier and placed her camera near the enclosure, not anticipating that the animal would be able to get its paw through. "I was in the wrong for leaning over the barrier, but I do think the zoo should look into moving their fence back," said Leanne, who has offered to start a fundraiser to pay for such a move. "I was told that it was at federal regulation, but if that jaguar can get her paw through the fence, anybody can reach out. I’m not the first, and if they don’t move the fence, I’m probably not going to be the last." The Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park has said nothing will happen to the jaguar because it did nothing wrong, per the Arizona Republic. (Read more jaguar stories.)

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