LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A former zookeeper says she was attacked by a jaguar while working at Wildlife World Zoo.
Morgan Johnson says she had been working at the zoo for about five months before the attack that left her and her coworker injured.
Johnson recalls her coworker using a piece of meat to lure a jaguar to the other end of the enclosure to allow room for another jaguar to enter the pen.
“I heard her call out for help and I looked,” says Johnson. “[The jaguar] had my coworker’s hand and my coworker was trying to get free and she couldn’t.”
Johnson says she ran over to help.
“That’s when she grabbed my left forearm and my wrist,” says Johnson.
[ORIGINAL STORY: Woman attached by jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo]
After a struggle, Johnson says, the large cat let go of her and her coworker. She says she was badly injured, but it didn’t appear anyone had called 911 to get her to the hospital.
“I was bleeding everywhere. I could see flesh,” says Johnson. “And they had somebody from the zoo drive us instead.”
It took weeks and dozens of stitches to heal, says Johnson. She says zoo officials made some safety improvements around the jaguar enclosure, but she believes it wasn’t enough to prevent another attack.
“They didn’t change the fence,” says Johnson. “[The jaguar] could still get her paw through.”
Johnson says she left Wildlife World Zoo in early December.
Arizona's Family reached out to Wildlife World Zoo for comment but did not hear back by Monday evening.
Zoo officials have said their barriers fall in line with United States Department of Agriculture standards and that they will consider making changes as they review last weekend’s incident.