DAVIE, Fla. — A Florida man was severely mauled by a black leopard after paying $150 for a “full-contact experience” at a backyard zoo, wildlife officials said.
Dwight Turner had to undergo multiple surgeries after the fully-grown big cat attacked him Aug. 31, WPLG reported.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers said the leopard brutally attacked Turner as soon as he entered its enclosure. Turner’s scalp was “hanging from his head and his right ear was torn in half,” investigators said.
Investigators said Michael Poggi, 50, is licensed to have the leopard. He runs an animal sanctuary for rare and endangered animals, WPLG reported.
Poggi was charged with allowing full contact with an extremely dangerous animal, WPLG reported. He was also cited for maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition.