A model is sharing her account of the leopard attack that left her with facial injuries.
The incident occurred in August, when Jessica Leidolph was modeling for a photoshoot at a rescue for former entertainment animals in the Wangen area of Germany. According to Leidolph’s interview with Bild, which has been translated from German to English by The Sun, the leopard, a 16-year-old female named Truja, attacked her without much warning.
"I couldn't look that fast,” she explained. “I was sitting by the tree trunk and all of a sudden I was lying on the ground. He bit into my cheek, ear, head, and then again and again on my head."
The model “screamed” and put her hands in front of her face. Eventually, the leopard let go for just long enough so she could “roll away.”
Leidolph, who has metal plates in her face following the attack and cannot eat properly due to her injuries, told Bild that she’s just fortunate the attack wasn’t worse.
"If the leopard had caught my carotid artery, it would have been over," she said.
Despite the ordeal, she’s still an outspoken advocate for animals and does not blame Truja or her owner for the situation. She said she is happy there has thus far been no request to euthanize the leopard.
An investigation into the attack is ongoing.
“I wanted to stand up for these wild animals, to draw attention to the fact that there are hardly any accommodation options for them once they have had their day,” Leidolph explained. “Nobody takes animals like that.”