Florida man injured after paying for ‘full contact’ with leopard is now suing its owner

The man paid $150 to play with the exotic animal

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A Florida man is severely injured and taking legal action after paying to play with a black leopard.

When Dwight Turner paid Michael Poggi $150 on Aug. 31st to play with, take pictures of and rub the belly of a leopard he had no idea he would come away from the encounter bruised and bloody, according to Local 10 News.

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Poggi, who owns the leopard advertised on his Facebook page that folks could rent time with the animal for a “full-contact experience.” Turner took Poggi up on his offer and went to the Earnest Boulevard home in Davie, Florida to play with the fully-grown animal but when he entered the makeshift backyard cage where the animal was, it mauled him.

Now Turner, 50, has to undergo multiple surgeries after his time at the home Poggi calls an “animal sanctuary for rare and endangered animals,” per the source. They say the injuries were so severe his scalp was, “hanging from his head and his right ear was torn in half.” Turner had to spend a week in the hospital due to his injuries.

Turner’s attorney says the waiver he signed to play with the leopard was invalid because even though the animal legally belonged to Poggi he was not licensed to provide those services.

Poggi knew he should have not been offering the experience and was cited for holding wildlife in an unsafe condition and was also charged with “allowing full contact with an extremely dangerous animal.”

Poggi also has a YouTube page that features him playing with exotic animals and advertising monkeys for sale.

On the description page it says:

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“This channel is dedicated to the care, feeding, breeding and sale of exotic animals found throughout the world that are no longer wanted, injured or giving sanctuary (sic) in South Florida.”

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