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Model mauled by leopard during photoshoot in Germany

Jessica Leidolph, 36, is shown in this modelling shot. Klaus Dieter Hornig via Jessica Leidolph/Model Kartei

A leopard attacked a woman during a photoshoot in Germany, leaving her with severe injuries to her face, according to local police.

The attack happened Tuesday in the eastern German town of Nebra, at a shelter for retired show animals, the dpa news agency reports.

The victim, 36, was modelling with a pair of leopards in their enclosure when one attacked her, police say. She was rushed to a specialty clinic via helicopter after the attack, which left her with injuries to her head.

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Authorities have not identified the victim but she has been named in local media as Jessica Leidolph, an erotic model who has posed with many different animals in the past.

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Leidolph says she underwent surgery after the mauling, which left her with several wounds on her head.

“It repeatedly kept biting my cheek, ear and head,” she told Bild, a German tabloid for which she has modelled in the past.

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Police are investigating the leopard’s owner, 48, on suspicion of negligent bodily harm. Public health officials are also examining the shelter to determine if it meets safety standards.

Leidolph was reportedly attacked by Troja, a 16-year-old leopard that has been at the shelter since 2019.

Troja, a 16-year-old leopard, is shown at the Seniorenresidenz für Showtiere in Nebra, Germany. Seniorenresidenz für Showtiere/Facebook

Troja and the other leopard, 18-year-old Paris, used to appear in Panasonic TV commercials, according to a Bild report.

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The shelter’s owner worked for 20 years as an animal trainer for circuses and amusement parks, dpa reports.

Her shelter, Seniorenresidenz für Showtiere, is home to more than 130 retired animal performers, including big cats, seals, pigs and ponies.

The owner has refused to comment on the incident to date, and no statements have been issued by the shelter.

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