The leopard “lost face” to the most family on earth: Being pampered too much, he behaves like a domestic cat


Despite his “tiger” appearance, the leopard Messi has a fragile, unexpectedly fragile soul.

Couple Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev share a room with Messi. However, this Messi is not a football superstar, but a 3-year-old leopard, weighing more than 40 kg.

The Russian couple first met Messia at the Saransk Zoo in Penza when he was eight months old and decided to adopt the leopard.

Messi is one of three cubs born at the zoo. The other two leopards, named Suarez and Neymar, are also named after famous players on the occasion of Penza hosting four matches in the 2018 World Cup.

When he was 3 months old, the cub was sold to Saransk Zoo but had health problems.

Loving the ailing animal, the Dmitrievs asked the zoo if they could buy him back.

Aleksandr’s wife, Mariya, said that his 38-year-old husband has always wanted to have a big cat. “He’s always wanted a lynx – not a leopard. It’s hard to explain, but we believe it was our destiny to adopt this leopard.”

“We spent three days thinking whether it was okay to keep a leopard as a pet. But nothing stopped our desire,” – Mariya (28 years old) told The Mirror. said.

“So we went to the zoo, started negotiating the acquisition of Messi. We were surprised that they agreed.”

“Taking care of Messi is indeed a challenge. In addition to being a wild animal, this big cat also needs more medical care than usual. “He is quite weak and needs a lot of attention” – Mariya said.

Although the couple has taken care of the leopard to health, he is still only two-thirds the size of an average leopard.

Like any other pet, Messi needs a lot of exercise, so the couple have to buy their own shirts and gear to walk Messi.

“He’s like a dog. We take him for a walk, step by step, step by step. He wasn’t as active as he is now. Now we walk him twice a day. It feels like having a dog. ” – In an interview with RT, Aleksandr said.

However, unlike dog training, training this large animal is not so easy. The couple tried to find an animal trainer but were unsuccessful.

They eventually found a dog training school for Messi to join, and now he can respond to 10 different commands.

“The leopard used his actions to convince us that he was worthy of being a member of the family, and he wouldn’t do anything wrong except for a few little mischief. The leopard is very kind and social. . You are getting along very well with everyone” – Aleksandr rejoiced.

Keeping a wildcat in the house is quite rare, so the story of the Dmitriev family and Messi’s “domestic cat” makes the online community very popular.

While the superstar Messi has 100 million Instagram followers, the big cat Messi also has 500,000 followers on the @I_am_puma account and more than 170,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Although the couple only live in a one-bedroom house, they always try to give the uncle the best conditions. For example, they turned the lobby into a place for Messi to play.

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