Florida leopard attack put humans—and big cats—in a terrible situation
Online videos from roadside zoo owners create the false impression that it’s safe to play-fight with adult big cats. It’s not.
In late August, Dwight Turner paid $150 to get inside a cage with a black leopard at a house in Florida. Almost immediately, the leopard attacked, ripping his right ear in half with its teeth and tearing into his head. His wife had to press a dangling flap of his scalp back in place.
The incident, which took place at the home of animal dealer Michael Poggi in Davie, Florida, occurred during what was supposed to be a “full-contact experience” with the leopard, in which Turner would rub its belly and take photos with it.
The attack is a stark reminder that big cats are dangerous to people—a reality that’s become muddled through the lens of social media. Many big