LITCHFIELD PARK (3TV/CBS 5) -The woman who was attacked by a jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo is telling her story for the first time.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Woman attached by jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo]

The zoo told Arizona’s Family that the woman was attempting to take a selfie when she reached over the barrier Saturday, but she refuted that claim Monday in an exclusive interview with CBS Evening News.

The woman wished to only identify herself as Leanne.

“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,” Leanne said. “I was never in the enclosure. I never passed the barrier, but I do admit to leaning over the barrier.”

[EXTENDED INTERVIEW: "I’m not the first ..."]

The zoo said Leanne apologized for the incident, but on Monday she said the apology was not meant as an admission of trying to take a selfie.

[RELATED: Woman apologizes after being attacked by a jaguar at Wildlife World Zoo]

“I apologized to the zoo because they don’t need this. They don’t need the backlash-- the media. I never went to the media; I never would have. I didn’t want this big thing that’s now apparently national,” Leanne said in the interview with CBS Evening News.  

She said the jaguar’s paw came through the fence—a fence that she would now like to see moved back.

“I was in the wrong for leaning over the barrier, but I do think the zoo should look into move their fence back,” Leanne said. “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.”

Leanne said she’s offered to start a fundraiser to raise the money to move the fence back because she enjoys visiting the zoo.

“I grew up here. I go to the zoo all the time. I live close to the zoo. I take my kids to the zoo. I don’t want that to change,” she said.

Arizona's Family reached out to the Wildlife World Zoo Monday afternoon for further comment on this incident, but has not heard back.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Locations

Senior Content Producer

Recommended for you

(23) comments

Jim B

The cat should have mauled her face

jaginphx

I think I am going to puke. Her comments sound about WHITE! The entitlement is sickening. I was wrong but!! you should have something to protect someone who is wrong and ignores the rules. Such a typical response from her rich Culture heritage.

trsalemme

[thumbdown][thumbdown] Has nothing to do with her skin color. Shes just plain stupid. I didn't blame skin color on Obama, when he tried to compare a dead criminal teen, to "his son"..stupid is just stupid. Comes in all colors.

Chris

Every two-bit 'personal injury lawyer' in the Southwest is beating down her door to try and open a lawsuit. In a wreck, need a check?

Dusty Rose

She didn't want this big thing that's now national. Well, dummy, the first article painted you as a decent woman who made a mistake. But you couldn't leave it at that. We may not know your name but we see you! And now we know you are a lying nut case looking for an easy buck. Should have kept your mouth shut! And I would NEVER be so stupid as to donate to a go fund me acct started by YOU.

HMI

Yep. Sounds like those litigous voices in her head are getting louder. Closer and closer to legal action for something she is to blame for.

Thought we found a unicorn. Guess not.

trsalemme

" I never passed the barrier, but I do admit to leaning over the barrier.”
Soooooo you DID pass the barrier, you ignorant, stupid reta.rd.
And about your comment " Other people will probably do the same thing.."....
You might be right...and I HOPE AND PRAY they get maimed and slashed just like you did. Its well deserved...Some people just have ZERO common sense..and they pay the price.

MyOwnMind

Too bad the job wasn't finished. You know she's leading up to a lawsuit.

Nykkc

So you mean to tell me that if had not crossed the barrier she wouldn’t have been hurt 😮. I’d donate to the zoo’s campaign but only for new signs that say “do not put any body part past the barriers to include but not limited to fingers, arms, breasts, legs, butt, back or face. And then add her face just in case she still doesn’t think it applies to her. 🙄

Seadogchief

You crossed the barrier. Common sense says that was your fault! All the witnesses say you were taking a selfie. If not, explain the need to cross the barrier? The zoo is at a legal distance. They shouldn't have to compensate for idiots!

Jhorner

Darwin award contestant. Thank goodness the zoo staff isn't afraid of media attention and is protecting the life of the cat. Bar her from future zoo attendance for sure! And don't let her attempt to each children...she is dumb, dishonest, and dumber.

Big Rich

Huge Tramp Stamp on her back / a$$.....not the brightest.

JustinP

"I never went to the media" she said to a national media outlet. Huh?!?!

GBfan4life

you never crossed the barrier but you do admit to leaning over it... isn't that in a way crossing the barrier?! wow some ppl

trsalemme

right? she a gotdamd returd

2up2down

Ummm...she's lying. She had to be close in order for the jaguar to even reach her. Sad the jaguar will be put down for doing what wild animals do...smh

Big Rich

Nope...if you read the article, you would know that the animal will be spared.

MyOwnMind

you're a dumbazz. Learn to read or better yet, go back to Mexico where education isn't needed.

2up2down

Lol....don't like Mexicans huh?? Deuces minus one!

momsacorn

Just stay away from zoos, chickie, if only because most of the occupants seem smarter than you.

annalisa99

Sounds like a lawyer got to her. First it was her fault, now suddenly it's not her fault.

Seadogchief

Give it a few days. She'll "sadly feel the need to sue" the zoo.

HMI

Yep.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.