GEORGETOWN –– At three years old, little Jasmine Joseph was mauled by a jaguar. Her head was almost crushed and parts of her scalp were torn.
It was the jaguar’s second attempt on her.
No one thought that she would have survived the attack; not even her grandmother, Agatha Joseph, especially since the toddler was attached to a life support machine and was breathing through a ventilator.
But today, little Jasmine has proven to the world that she is a fighter. The little Isseneru, Region Seven resident is no different than any other child her age. She plays and attends school like everyone else.
Other than the mark across her face, no one could tell that she was the child who was attacked by a jaguar almost three years ago.
The incident happened on December 27, 2013. Jasmine was air dashed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) after being mauled by the feline creature.
She suffered from deep lacerations over her scalp, face and torso. Her skull and left side jaw were fractured. Jasmine underwent a plate implantation for a fractured skull.
Medical workers at the hospital had told Kaieteur News that the little girl was a fighter. They said that she survived the attack like a “champ”.
During her recovery stage at the hospital, little Jasmine told reporters: “He [the jaguar] jump on me and I fall down.”
According to information received, the child was in her yard playing when the animal attacked her and dragged her into nearby bushes. Her uncle, who was in the house, heard her screams and rushed to her aid with a cutlass.
Assisted by neighbours, the man reportedly killed the animal before burning it. Workers from the Isseneru Health Centre came to the child’s aid, wrapping her wounds and rendering other basic assistance.
Agatha Joseph had told Kaieteur News that she left Jasmine and two other grandchildren with their aunt at home to attend a nearby church service.
“I left home like 7 [a.m.]. We were going around the village to pray for sick people and around 9 [a.m.] we hear loud screams coming from across the river and we thought that them children went into a boat and fall in the water so we send somebody to check and then lil after them come back with my granddaughter in the boat.”
Her home is surrounded by bushes and it was not the first time that her granddaughter was attacked.
“Last month a jaguar jumped on her and scraped her on her foot but I hit it and it get away. We thought it was gone but like the same one come back.”
Studies done internationally suggested that jaguar attacks on humans rarely occur in the wild and when they do, they are often fatal.
According to the report, hundreds of deaths are caused by large cat attacks annually worldwide.