Sandler was visiting with a cheetah and its trainer when things went a little awry.
"This is a true story," Sandler recounted on a visit with The Late Show with David Letterman. "I went in there and they let me in with a cheetah and said I could feed the cheetah water with my hands."
"So I did it and it went a little bit wrong," he said.
When the 46-year-old actor bent down to scoop some water up from the pond, the cheetah came around from behind and leaped onto his back.
The trainer was able to quickly pull the cat off his back, but Sandler said the incident was still very scary.
"I was very nervous," he said. "What happened was they said you're not supposed to bend down low with the water."
And despite appearing to keep his cool, Sandler said his calm reaction was actually deceptive: his neck was bothering him and it kept him from jumping up quickly.
"The only reason I didn't react . . . [was that] I had a stiff neck at the time," he explained. "So when he jumped on me, I was like, 'Oh my neck.'"
"All I was going to do was let him eat me," Sandler joked. "There was not one part of me that was going to fight back. I was like, 'Alright, this is how I'm dying. This is great!'"
Watch the video of Sandler's interview, with a clip of the actual cheetah incident: