Jaguar attacks woman taking selfie at Arizona zoo

A woman is recovering after she was attacked by a jaguar at a zoo in Arizona.

Fire officials say the woman crossed over a barrier while trying to take a selfie at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park near Phoenix.

Wildlife World Zoo director Mickey Ollson said: "When people do not respect the barriers, there's always the chance that there might be a problem."

The woman in her 30s suffered lacerations to her arm and was taken to the hospital. She's expected to survive.

Witness Adam Wilkerson said he was at the zoo with his family when someone came shouting for help.

"Without thinking, I had no idea what I was going to see, I just ran over there," he said. "I saw the other girl up against the fence with her arm caught in the jaguar's claws."

Wilkerson said he was standing behind the woman, but didn't want to pull her off. "I could see the claws in her actual flesh," he said.

In an effort to distract the jaguar, Wilkerson said, his mother ran up behind him and shoved her water bottle through the cage. The bottle distracted the jaguar, and it let go of the victim.

"When my mother put the water bottle through the gate, the jaguar let go of the girl. And we pulled the girl back and she collapsed," he said.

Zoo officials say the female jaguar will not be euthanised because it quote "was not the animal's fault."