Young Girl Attacked By a Jaguar, Then Again Three Weeks Later

In remote northern Guyana, Three-year-old Jasmine Joseph was viciously and brutally attacked when she was with her mother on the banks of the Mazaruni River. Her mother was washing clothes when, suddenly, Jasmine was attacked and dragged into the forest by a jaguar that had clamped its massive jaws around her head. Rarely does someone live through an attack like this, and the craziest part–this wasn’t the first time she had been mauled.

Latin America is home to one of the most cunning apex predators of all time, the Jaguar. Jaguars are extremely intelligent, silent, and violent, which makes for a vicious predator that lurks throughout the jungle. For many residents of Latin America, the threat of the Jaguar is well-known, thus many try and stay as far away from them as possible. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

The jaguar has the strongest bite force of any big cat in the world, with over twice the power of an African lion. The reason? Their prey. Jaguars mostly eat armadillos, giant anacondas, and in some cases, even bears. They are able to take down such large prey because of their ability to crush a skull with just one bite, as well as being equipped with some of the largest feline claws ever recorded.

Jaguars can reach an astonishing 250lbs and about six feet long, not including their tails. These large beasts got their name from the Native American word yaguar, which means “he who kills with one leap.” Throughout history, these beasts have been known for their vicious killing power and it’s a rare occasion when someone survives an attack because of the brute force the jaguar brings to the fight.

However, when Jasmine was attacked this time around, she was putting up a fight.

Jaguars have been known to successfully attack and kill adult alligators, which many other animals can’t do. Their biteforce paired with their quick movements work to tear through the thick skin of the caiman like it’s nothing. You can only imagine how easy it was for this Jaguar to snatch Jasmine up like it was nothing.

Knowing that if the big cat were to drag her into the forest, that would be the last time she would ever see her daughter, so Jasmine’s mother knew she had to do something. Miraculously, the child was freed from the deadly grip of the most powerful cat on the planet and rushed to a local hospital. It was there that the real fight began.

When she arrived at the hospital, doctors realized that the toddler’s skull had been crushed, her scalp ripped to shreds, and the prognoses was not looking good. All the doctors involved with Jasmine’s case had never seen someone survive wounds as severe as hers, but they weren’t willing to give up without a fight.

Dr. Kenneth Iserson is a professor and has worked for decades in emergency rooms across Central and South America, and has witnessed some of the most gruesome injuries to date. When he reviewed the injuries Jasmine had sustained, he was sure that the poor young child wasn’t going to make it. He had seen cases like this but had never seen anyone survive throughout the night.

Not only was Jasmine’s skull crushed and punctured in many places, but her chest and neck had been ripped open from the large claws of the cat. If the child had any chance of surviving, they were going to have to work fast to close her gaping wounds.

Jaguar’s attack with brute force to stun their prey, and they focus on the head and neck to ensure a quick kill. If they sever the prey’s backbone quickly, they waste less energy. After years and years of evolution, these cats have become highly skilled with a taste for blood.

In an effort to save Jasmine’s life, doctors performed an emergency craniotomy, where part of her severely injured skull was removed. They hoped that this would help with some of the brain swelling, as the toddler’s life was hanging in the balance. They inserted a metal plate to reconstruct her skull but that was all they could do. Now, it was a waiting game.

For 22 days Jasmine lay unconscious in the hospital with her family by her side. In a shocking twist of fate, Jasmine woke up and to the surprise of all involved, started to make a recovery. Nurses and doctors called her their “little fighter” as they had never seen someone recover from such grave injuries.

Although it was a miracle that Jasmine survived, it wasn’t the first time she was attacked.

Just a few weeks before this devastating attack, Jasmine had a close encounter. One the same river, the toddler was attacked but only suffered from minor injuries, the most severe being a scratch on the foot.

Was it the same cat, both times?

It’s unknown whether it was the same beast that attacked Jasmine both times, but chances are, it had been stalking her for quite some time. Due to the fact that Jasmine and her mother had a normal route along the river, the jaguar had most likely figured out that the two frequented the area, and saw her as an easy target.

The power of the Jaguar hasn’t gone unnoticed, and people throughout history have tried to tap into it.

In ancient Mayan culture, the Jaguar is seen as one of the most powerful creatures on earth, having strong ties with the moon. Their seemingly silent yet deadly strike has even fueled many myths and has caused the top predator to become the hunted.

Wild populations of Jaguars are declining, even though hunting them for their fur is now illegal. They are endangered, but are still killed by farmers who try to protect their livestock. They now only roam freely in a few Latin American countries, and their numbers are dwindling due to habitat loss. Although these beasts are widely feared, and rightly, it’s essential thay they are protected moving forward, or face extinction.

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