Puma Rescued From A Zoo Can’t Be Released Into The Wild, Lives As A Spoiled House Cat

Would you believe if someone said that a puma is living in a home with humans? Well, you would mostly say such a thing cannot happen. Pumas are carnivores who are not likely to be lived with humans and it would be a danger for human lives.

But Messi, the 90lb puma would be an exception to this notion as he is already living with Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev in Russia. The couple met Messi at the Saransk zoon in Penza, Russia and at that time Messi was just 8 years old. He was really cute for his age and the couple decided to have him on their lives.

Messi had two brothers who were also born along with him and they were named after famous Soccer players to celebrate the Russian city hosting four of the matching from the world cup. So, three of them were named as Messi, Suarez, and Neymar and Messi were sold to the zoo when he was just 3 months old.

Image credits and more info: l_am_puma

He was sick from very young days and the zoo was not able to look after him. It was then the couple decided to have Messi and speaking of Aleksandr’s wish to have Messi, Mariya says the Mirror that,

 “He always thought about having a lynx- never a puma. It’s hard to explain but we believe that having this puma is part of our destiny”.

“We had three days of thinking hard about whether it was moral to keep a puma, and whether it was common sense to have one. But nothing could fight our sudden wish.

So we went to the zoo and started to negotiate to buy Messi. We were surprised ourselves when the agreed”.

However, it was really challenging for the couple to take care of this giant puma. He was wild by nature and he was quite weak which needed a lot of attention.

However, even after being recovered Messi grew only up to two-thirds of the size of the average puma which was still a huge size when comparing with other pets.

Mariya and Aleksandr bought a special harness and a coat to take him on walks and in an interview with RT, Aleksandr said,

“He is like a dog. We started taking him for a walk, step by step. The animal hadn’t been really active before. Now we walk a lot twice a day, as it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t differ much from owning a dog in this sense”.

The couple could find a dog training school that allowed Messi to join and now Messi can respond to about 10 commands.

Aleksandr says, “He convinced us with his behavior that he is a full member of our family and that he wouldn’t be doing anything bad apart from some small naughty things. He is very kind and likes contact. He gets along well with people”.

Aleksandr has begun to document their lives with Puma and people are completely in love with those posts. In their Instagram page @I_am_puma they have over 500k followers and in their YouTube channel, they have over 175k subscribers.

The couple has tried their best to give a comfortable environment to Messi and they have even turned their hallways into Messi’s den with a tree, hiding hole and bamboo wall.

Aleksandr says, “He is just an ordinary cat, but a big one. He has all the habits of a cat”.

However, there have been many objections from environmental rights activists about the couple keeping the puma who points in the dangers that Messi can cause as well as his right to live in wild.

But, the couple believes that Messi would rather like to live with them than in the wild and they think that he would not survive in wild. Mariya told the Mirror,

“Of course it’s quite dangerous having such a large cat at home, but Messi is a special animal”.

So, let us know your thoughts about their story.

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