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Florida man is mauled by a black leopard after paying for a full body experience


Florida man, 50, is left with his scalp hanging off after being mauled by Dasha the black leopard whose owner he paid $150 for ‘full-contact experience including belly rub’

  • Dwight Turner, 50, had to undergo multiple surgeries as a result of the attack 
  • He paid Michael Poggi $150 to sit with the animal and ‘rub its belly’ 
  • But as soon as he got in the cage with Dasha the leopard, she attacked him 
  • He was so badly injured his scalp was left ‘hanging from his head’ 
  • Poggi was charged with endangering his friend but he owns Dasha legally  

A Florida man was mauled by a black leopard after paying the owner of a private animal sanctuary $150 for a ‘full contact experience’ so he could rub the animal’s belly. 

Dwight Turner was left in need of multiple surgeries after being attacked by the animal that belongs to Michael Poggi. 

Poggi claims to run an animal sanctuary in Davie, Florida. He also owns at least one Capuchin monkey and a baby alpaca. 

Turner paid him $150 for an up-close experience with the female leopard, which is called Dasha. It included him rubbing her belly and taking photographs with the animal. 

Owner Michael Poggi with Dasha, the black leopard, that he owns and keeps in Davie, Florida

Owner Michael Poggi with Dasha, the black leopard, that he owns and keeps in Davie, Florida 

Dwight Turner was so badly injured that his scalp was left 'hanging from his head' in the attack. His bandaged head is shown

Dwight Turner was so badly injured that his scalp was left ‘hanging from his head’ in the attack. His bandaged head is shown

Dwight and Michael are shown together at one of the animal enclosures.  Once Turner got into the leopard's enclosure, it attacked him

Dwight and Michael are shown together at one of the animal enclosures.  Once Turner got into the leopard’s enclosure, it attacked him

Poggi's home where he also runs an 'animal sanctuary' in Davie, Florida

Poggi’s home where he also runs an ‘animal sanctuary’ in Davie, Florida 

But once Turner got into the animal’s enclosure, it pounced on him. 

An incident report says his injuries were so bad that his ‘scalp was hanging off his head’. 

Poggi has been charged with allowing him to get close to a dangerous animal an with maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition. 

Local 10 in Florida reports that he is licensed to own the leopard. 

According to a police report, he admitted that charging his friends to get close to the animal and putting them in harm’s way was illegal. 

The laws for owning exotic animals are not as strict as in other parts of the country.

It’s unclear how the two men know one another. 

Poggi fashions himself like an exotic animal expert online. He has posted videos on YouTube where he shows off the rest of his animals. 

Poggi also has exotic birds, reptiles and snakes. On social media, he claims to be the founder of an investment group called the ‘millionaires’ investment group’. 

Poggi with the leopard inside his home. He owns her legally

Poggi with the leopard inside his home. He owns her legally 

Poggi in a YouTube video with one of his reptiles . He claims to run an animal sanctuary from his home

Poggi in a YouTube video with one of his reptiles . He claims to run an animal sanctuary from his home

Poggin also keeps exotic birds on the property but he is understood to have a license for them all

Poggin also keeps exotic birds on the property but he is understood to have a license for them all 

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