A couple rescued a cougar from a contact zoo and keeps him as a pet
Cougar named Messi was born in Saransk city zoo and just after some months of staying with his mother, poor cub was sold to a petting zoo in the city of Penza. Cougars are not native to Russia, so he could not be released into the wild. Besides, due to numerous health issues, workers at the petting zoo even planned to euthanize him. He could not live in a zoo or wildlife sanctuary either. But great things do happen!
Fortunately, a couple couple Alexandr and Mariya Dmitriev visited the Penza zoo where they first met Messi. They say they experienced “love at first sight”, so Dmitrievs decided to purchase that entle giand cat as a small pet.
Now Messi lives in a studio apartment in Penza. He’s fed twice a day, goes to a local dog training facility (he has already learnt around 10 commands!), regularly takes a bath and goes for a walk.
Now his new family plans to move to a bigger house in the near future, and also plans to adopt a leopard as a companion for Messi.
Despite giant cat has mostly favorable attention on social media, there also are numerous critics of keeping a cougar at home. But still, the animal is alive and happy, and let’s hope his wild needs will not be met once.