A man was mauled by a captive black leopard in a backyard zoo in Broward County, wildlife officials said.
The man paid $150 for a “full contact experience" with the black leopard, which allowed him to play with with it and take pictures, local media reported.
“The owner of the facility brought the victim into the leopard cage," said the victim's attorney, Steve Lander. "About three seconds after entering the cage, the leopard attacked, going for the jugular and took his head in it’s mouth.”
A report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the incident happened Aug. 31 in Davie.
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 runs a licensed animal sanctuary for rare and endangered animals at the home.
The man 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, and he required multiple surgeries.
“My client got a bacterial infection and ended up seven days in the ER," Lander said. "He currently has severe migraines, neurological damage and the cranial swelling is the worst though.”
Lander said his client has filed a lawsuit against the owner, saying he let his insurance lapse.