The woman who was attacked during a selfie attempt at the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, Arizona, is finally breaking her silence.
Leanne, who declined to give her last name in an interview with the CBS Evening News, explained the incident for the very first time in an interview. She says that when she and a few others were walking by the jaguar’s enclosure, she noticed that the animal was leaning against the fence and thought that it would be a great opportunity to get a photo. To get a better view of the jaguar, Leanne then went past the enclosure’s waist-high barrier to snap the photo prior to being attacked.
“I was in the wrong for leaning over the barrier, but I do think that maybe the zoo should look into moving their fence back,” she said. “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.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the woman was not seriously injured and just got a few lacerations, mostly on her arms. Cell phone video captured the woman rolling on the ground in pain but a lot of her fellow zoogoers had little to no sympathy for her since she put herself in a bad situation and made a wild animal feel vulnerable, leading to the attack.
A woman who was attacked by a jaguar at an Arizona zoo after she stepped over a barrier to take a selfie has apologized. The zoo confirmed the animal will not be punished or euthanized: "Please understand why barriers are put in place." pic.twitter.com/YgG8L47eos
— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 11, 2019
And the same thing actually happened at the jaguar enclosure at the same zoo last year, this time to a man named Jeff Allan. Like Leanne, he received several stitches in the attack, but he too was at fault since he crossed the barriers that had been set up by the zoo. Allan also suggested that the zoo put the barrier too close to the enclosure, but zoo director Mickey Olson has a different view.
“When people do not respect the barriers, there’s always a chance that there might be a problem.”
Furthermore, the zoo also released a statement on their Twitter page shortly after the incident went viral, letting guests know that the animal will not be punished for something that was the fault of the female zoogoer.
“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.”
Leanne is hoping that people will learn from her mistake and not get themselves into the same situation as she did.
“I never expected this. I feel like we’re all human, we make mistakes and I learned my lesson,” she shared.