Today is Halloween, but the jaguar who showed up at the Hospital and Maternity Santa Ana, in Naviraí, in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil, was no patient or staff dressed up as the dangerous animal, but the real thing.
The jaguar, who had a wound below the neck got inside the pediatric sector and stayed there. Only three hours later the animal was captured by the city’s firemen after being sedated by a veterinarian.
Before that, the jaguar spread panic in the maternity while a frantic doctor made calls for help and could not find the people she needed or could not make people believe her story. The animal was finally taken to a veterinary clinic and from there transferred to a rehabilitation center for wild animals, in Campo Grande.
Pediatrician Beatriz Araújo, 51, who had just helped in the delivery of a healthy 7.2-pound boy, Eduardo Caê, at 2:40 am, and had gone to the consultation room to fill up a prescription for a patient, was the first one to meet the jaguar face to face.
Her first reaction was to scream and this scared the animal who looked for shelter under a counter.
"It was terrible," she told reporters. "You can’t imagine a thing like this. I already had cancer, I also suffered a serious car accident, but I never imagined I could stomach a thing like this..
"I was writing a prescription when suddenly, I hear a noise and see a thing getting up in front of me. I froze for about 30 seconds and the jaguar stayed there staring at me from about 7 feet away.
"I called the security guard on the interphone but he wasn’t at his post. The nurses were taking care of the mother who had just delivered and they didn’t answer the phone either. Then I called the firemen and it took them a long time to believe my story and then another long while to arrive here."
The jaguar was first spotted at about 3 am. According to the veterinarian the animal was approximately eight years old. The firemen revealed later that even under sedation the jaguar looked very scared. The animal’s wound was apparently caused by a firearm.