Leopard attacks Juneau man

Restaurant owner also accidentally shot when Zimbabwe hunt goes awry

Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Juneau doctor helped save a friend from an attacking leopard but shot him in the calf during a hunt gone sour last week in Zimbabwe.

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Bill Adair, owner of Bullwinkle's Pizza Parlor, remained hospitalized Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is recovering from a gunshot wound that damaged at least a tendon in his upper calf, said Emmett Marlow, manager of the restaurant.

Adair is expected to be flown to a Seattle hospital today for further treatment, Marlow said.

Adair and his friend, Dr. David Miller, had been hunting for leopard in Zimbabwe when one of the cats pounced on their guide.

"The leopard circled back on them and attacked the guide," Marlow said Adair told him over satellite phone. Adair then went to help the guide and the leopard turned on him.

"He started screaming at Dr. Miller to shoot it," Marlow said.

Miller aimed and hit the leopard, but the bullet from the high-powered rifle passed through the cat and struck Adair in the calf.

The guide, whose arm was injured, also tried to shoot the leopard, Marlow said. Eventually the cat was killed.

Miller, a surgeon, treated Adair's wound in the field before he was transported to a hospital. The incident occurred either May 21 or 22.

Marlow said he last spoke with Adair early Tuesday, mostly about business.

"He sounded pretty good. They sent some pictures up to our bookkeeper," he said. "I didn't know leopards got that big."

Leopards are known to be the most elusive of the big cats and, unlike species such as lions, are solitary creatures. They vary in size from 60 to 150 pounds, with males being larger.

• Brittany Retherford can be reached at brittany.retherford@juneauempire.com.

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