WARNING - GRAPHIC DETAILS: A man was mauled so savagely by a captive black leopard in a backyard zoo that his scalp was left “hanging from his head”.
The man paid US$150 (A$213) for a “full contact experience” with the black leopard at a home in South Florida, which allowed him to play with it and take pictures, local news outlet WPLG reported.
A report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the incident happened on August 31 in Davie, which is near Fort Lauderdale.
The agency charged the owner with allowing full contact with an extremely dangerous animal and was cited for maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition.
The owner, identified as Michael Poggi, runs a licenced animal sanctuary for rare and endangered animals at the home, WPLG reported.
The victim was attacked as soon as he entered the leopard’s enclosure. The injuries were so severe that his scalp was “hanging from his head and his right ear was torn in half,” the report said.
He required multiple surgeries, according to the TV station, and spent a week in the emergency department.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.