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Man mauled by black leopard after paying for 'full-contact experience'

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Posted at 3:30 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 17:30:18-04

DAVIE, Fla. — A man learned the very hard way that sometimes you get exactly what you pay for.

Dwight Turner ended up suffering serious injuries after being mauled by a black panther he had paid $150 to have a "full-contact experience" with.

The 50-year-old traveled to Poggi's Animal House, a makeshift backyard zoo in South Florida, for the chance to play with the leopard, rub its belly and take pictures, according to WPLG.

Instead, the fully-grown leopard attacked Turner once he entered the enclosure, injuring him badly enough that he was forced to undergo multiple surgeries.

A report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says Turner's scalp was "hanging from his head and his right ear was torn in half."

Turner's attorney says his client spent a week in a hospital emergency room following the attack.

Michael Poggi, the owner of the facility, was charged with allowing contact with an extremely dangerous animal and keeping the leopard in an unsafe condition. Authorities say Poggi admitted what he did was illegal.