Zookeepers used fire extinguishers to ward off two jaguars after a 3-year-old boy fell into their pit at the Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas.
The boy was standing on a railing Friday morning when he fell into the pit, which is about 15 to 16 feet deep, according to the Little Rock Police Department.
"We have a child who has fallen into the jaguar exhibit," a caller told an emergency dispatcher. "We need an ambulance."
The boy's guardian ran for help as the two jaguars approached the boy, police said. When he returned, witnesses told police that one jaguar had the boy’s shirt collar in his mouth and the other had latched on to his foot.
Frantically trying to keep the jaguars away, the boy's guardian threw objects into the exhibit in an attempt to distract the big cats.
Zookeepers then rushed into the exhibit and used fire extinguishers to keep the jaguars away as one employee went down a ladder to retrieve the injured boy, police said.
“Some of the coworkers just stopped us and was telling us to hold off and we were wondering why, then we saw a little cart go by with a child with his head bleeding,” said Bridgette Humphrey, a witness.
The boy was then taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. His condition was upgraded to stable on Saturday.
According to ABC News affiliate KATV-TV, the jaguar exhibit is now temporarily closed.