A man who jumped over a gate and stuck his arm into the Jaguar exhibit at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Wednesday afternoon was clawed by one of the big cats.
According to the Jacksonville Fire-Rescue, the man was in his 20s and was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Before jumping over the gate, the man was egging on the jaguars, said one witness. Another said she saw zoo employees cleaning up the trail of blood while the man was taken away with his arm bandaged.
“This is an individual that wasn’t using his head,” deputy zoo director Dan Maloney said. “He stuck his hand in through the mesh that separates the jaguars from the outside.”
Maloney believes the victim was lucky because if the animal had been able to latch on, “it would have been a very different story.”
According to the zoo, this is the only time anyone has been injured in the 11 years since the jaguar exhibit opened.