A stunning female model who was severely injured by a leopard featured in Panasonic plasma TV commercials during a photoshoot in Germany and was immediately operated by surgeons will have to bear her facial scars for life.
Model Jessica Leidolph, 36, who also worked as an animal rights activist and a physiotherapist, was critically injured after 16-year-old leopard Troja attacked her out of nowhere during the photoshoot that took place in a retirement home for show animals in the German city of Nebra.
The 36-year-old model from the German state of Thuringia underwent surgery after she was taken to the nearest hospital with a helicopter on Tuesday (24th August), and it has now been revealed she will have to carry the attack scars forever.
According to local media, Jessica entered the leopards’ enclosure at the ‘Seniorenresidenz fur Showtiere’ (retirement home for show animals) when 16-year-old leopard Troja suddenly attacked her.
Troja and another leopard living in the enclosure named Paris, 18, had once graced TV screens in an advert for multinational electronics giant Panasonic, before they were moved to the 850 square meter (9,150 sq ft) retirement home in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
The approximately 135 animals residing in the facility were mostly booked for photoshoots by interested individuals and companies, which is how the victim found herself there when the animal bit her in the face.
Jessica, who was brought to the hospital with severely bleeding wounds and was immediately operated on, told Bild after the surgery: “It repeatedly kept biting my cheek, ear and head.”
She reported that after she had lost consciousness the next thing she heard was the helicopter that airlifted her to the hospital.
After media reported incorrect information that the predator had escaped and was on the loose, Burgenland District spokesperson Steven Muller-Uhrig ensured: “The animal never broke out. There is currently no danger to the population.”
The police stated they are investigating who else was present at the photoshoot and what safety precautions were taken.
A Burgenlandkreis district spokesperson revealed that keeping leopards does not require a permit in Saxony-Anhalt and said: “It is not legally limited by the state.
However, owner Birgit Stache, 48, who has worked as an animal trainer for 20 years and holds a legal license to keep the animals is currently being investigated for negligent bodily harm along with other people responsible for the animals on the farm.
The authorities are considering taking away Stache’s license for the retirement home for show animals.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
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