This puma was sold to the zoo when he was just three months old. He suffered from various health issues. Despite these conditions, Dmitriev appealed to the owners asking if he could buy him, and the owners actually agreed.
A Russian couple, Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev share their one-bedroom apartment with a 90lb puma named Messi. Yes, he is named after the famous football player himself. After spotting the eight-month-old puma at the Saransk Zoo in Penza, the couple instantly fell in love with him and desperately wanted to have him.
Dmitriev’s achieved his lifelong dream of owning a big cat.
It was a challenge for the couple to take care of Messi since he needed extra medical attention and care. Although they have nursed him back to good health, Messi is only 2/3 of the size of an average puma.
Mariya and Dmitriev purchased a harness and special coat to take Messi on walks since the puma needs exercise.
Training him was no easy task. Although the couple tried to find a wild animal handler, they failed. Fortunately, they found a dog training school that accepted Messi. He now responds to ten different commands. Isn’t that just amazing?
Mariya and Dmitriev consider him a member of their family. Apparently, he is kind, loves contact, and does get along with humans very well.
Since having an exotic cat as a pet is quite rare, the couple documents their life with Messi. He has over 500k followers on his Instagram account and 170k subscribers on his YouTube account, sharing photos and videos of him.
This couple has gone to extreme lengths to make Messi feel at home. They have transformed their hallway into Messi’s den, including a tree, bamboo walls, and a hiding hole. His habits are similar to that of a cat, even though he is bigger in size.
Mariya and Dmitriev believe that he wouldn’t survive in the wild because of his domestic upbringing. Anyways they seem to be having the time of their life.
Messi is about 30 percent smaller than the typical male puma and lives in the couple’s home alongside their Sphynx cat.
It is a privilege to witness this unique bond between a puma and humans.
Puma can live for about 8 to 13 years in the wild, in captivity, they can live for about 20 years. Males adults can grow up to 1.8 to 2.4 meters long and females about 1.5 to 2.1 meters. Males weigh about 50 to 82 kilograms and the female 36 to 59 kilograms. They are the second heaviest cat in the world.
They are predatory stalkers; they ambush predators and tracks a wide variety of prey. Their prey includes deer, pigs, sheep, capybaras, armadillos, raccoons, hares, and squirrels, depending on where they live.
Animals also have emotions, just like humans. They can depressed, psychologically disturbed, frustrated, and can harm each other.
It is expensive to keep wild animals in captivity. Often these animals live in inhumane conditions, as they pose a threat to the public. There is also a lot of trading of Wild Animals. Thousands of animals enter the captive wild animal trade yearly. Some of these animals are from roadside zoos where they are not needed any longer.
We at The Open Mind are against animal cruelty. For more uplifting articles that will make your day go to The Open Mind website.
The featured image is a screenshot taken from the YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkO7be9Dn2c