“Florida Man” has made headlines yet again, and this time in the Broward County city of Davie!

A man in Florida has been mauled by a black leopard in a savage attack after he paid $150 for a “full-contact experience” with the dangerous animal.

50-year-old Dwight Turner was mauled moments after he entered the leopard’s cage at an animal sanctuary in Davie, Florida, authorities said. The plan was for Turner to “play with the panther, go inside the panther’s cage, rub his belly and take pictures,” according to a witness statement from his wife.

While Turner was expecting a fun encounter with the exotic animal when he entered the cage, the cat instead growled at him and gnawed on his scalp and right ear during the Aug. 31 encounter.

“Mrs. Turner stated that she had to place part of Mr. Turner’s scalp back in place because it was hanging from his head and his right ear was torn in half,” an officer wrote in the incident report. “Mr. Turner was treated at two separate hospitals and required two surgeries to repair his head and ear which resulted in an infection requiring additional treatment. Currently the head wound and ear are being monitored for progression of infection with the possibility of the loss of Mr. Turner’s right ear.”

Michael Poggi, the person who runs a wildlife sanctuary akin out of his Florida backyard allegedly lied to Turner before receiving the payment.

In fact, according to reports, Poggi told Turner that for the right price, he’d be able to pet the wild leopard’s belly like it were a dog. He even said that Turner was welcome to take pictures with the animal.

More details of this story from AWM:

Instead of a soft, cuddly experience, the leopard showed its violent side, which is exactly what most people would suspect would happen. While Turner entered the enclosure, expecting playtime with the black leopard, he rushed out of it out of fear of his life and was left with debilitating injuries. After the leopard attack, Turner’s scalp was torn off his head and was hanging by a thread. He also lost his right ear in the animal attack.

Since the attack occurred in Poggi’s “sanctuary,” he has gone dark on social media. The Florida businessman has turned his business page “private” to block people from viewing his information as the investigation into his wrongdoing gets underway.

Records show that Poggi charged Turner, 50, $150 so he could get in the cage with the fully-grown apex predator and “play with it, rub its belly and take pictures.”

Detectives reported that Turner was in such poor condition after the attack his scalp was left “hanging from his head, and his right ear was torn in half.”

Poggi has gone into hiding since the attack on his Davie, Florida property. However, he has admitted that what he did was entirely illegal and wrong.

This “Florida Man,” Turner, is now suing the owner of the “animal experience” who also had no insurance. While Turner did sign a release for the experience, the Fish & Wildlife Conservation says that this kind of contact with a wild animal is illegal which therefore voids the release.

According to Steven Lander, Turner’s attorney, “He went for the jugular, took [Turner’s] head in its mouth. The ear was pretty much removed” as Lander stated to Local10.

In addition to the mauling incident, the owner of the private “animal sanctuary” was cited for maintaining captive wildlife in conditions that are unsafe, negligent, and dangerous. This sounds familiar, right?

Watch the video below for more details:

Source: AWM,  Local10

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