Meanwhile In Florida: Man Mauled by Leopard During ‘Full Contact Experience’ (Gets What He Paid For)

Have we learned nothing from Tiger King? The Netflix docuseries about big cat owners was pretty explicit in how trying to tame tigers, leopards, and other ferocious felines is a futile endeavor. And yet, Americans just can’t get enough of ‘em.

The latest idiot to invade an animal’s space is Dwight Turner, a 50-year-old man who paid $150 to play with a black panther and “rub its belly” at a private animal sanctuary in Davie, Florida. When Turner walked into the panther’s enclosure, the big cat charged and mauled him. (How would you react if a stranger stormed into your home?) Turner lost part of one ear and his scalp, which was “hanging from his head” by the end of the beatdown. (Yowza.) It took several surgeries to put Turner back together again.

As for the cat’s (licensed) owner, Michael Poggi, he’s been charged with allowing “full contact with an extremely dangerous animal,” which is apparently a crime in the Sunshine State. Maybe as punishment, the judge could sentence him to 15 minutes in the cage with the panther. May the best beast win.

Is it wrong that we feel like these guys got what they deserved? At the very least, Turner got what he paid for: a “full contact” experience. For his sake, let’s hope it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

Cover Photo: Peter Finch (Getty Images)

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