Florida man injured by jaguar after crossing barrier banned from zoo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida man who hopped a safety barrier and was injured by a jaguar on Wednesday is not allowed to return to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

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The man, whose name has not been released, climbed a waist-high barrier at the Range of the Jaguar display where there is an empty space between visitors and animals, then started taunting the big cat, WJAX reported.

The man was injured by Harry, a 12-year-old jaguar, after he reached his hand through the fence. The man was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“If someone decides they want to get up close to a big powerful cat, then that’s a foolish decision,” said Dan Maloney, deputy director at the zoo.

Zoo officials said the big cat acted appropriately and will not face any consequences. Harry was involved in a fight that left another jaguar dead earlier this year.

The zoo does not plan to pursue criminal charges against the man, but he is prohibited from coming back to the facility.

Officials said the jaguar enclosure meets and exceeds care and safety standards, WJAX reported.

“The area that’s designed is a sound area up to all standards and it’s an area that’s been effective for the last 18 years, 17 years,” Maloney said. “This kind of situation has never occurred in my 11 years here, I hope it never happens again.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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