After the 8-weeks-old puma cub was smuggled from the Czech Republic to Germany, he lived with his owner in a small apartment in Baden-Württemberg. After several residents and the landlord informed the veterinary office, when they saw the man with the Puma on a leash in the city park, the competent authority controlled the attitude. The owner was ordered to bring the puma immediately into a species-appropriate environment. Due to the lack of vaccine protection, however, Tikam first had to be accommodated in the quarantine ward of the Rüsselsheim animal shelter for a few weeks.
Unfortunately, a release into the wild is not possible as Tikam was exposed to human contact only and would not be able to survive in the wilderness.
Since February 2019, the little puma lives at TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary and currently lives in a part of the tiger plant. A special puma enclosure is to be built as fast as possible.
In September, Tikam celebrated his first birthday and of course there was a special puma-appropriate cake and presents.
The competent authority was notified shortly before Christmas 2018 about a male puma cub in a private apartment in the German city, Lahr. The owner was ordered to bring the puma immediately into a species-appropriate location.
The then two-month-old exotic pet was legally acquired in the Czech Republic but illegally smuggled to Germany. With no husbandry permit, import and export documents between the Czech Republic and Germany, and with exchanged vaccination and proof of origin, the only a few weeks old puma was purchased from a Czech breeder for 2,300 euros and brought to Germany by car.
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, the importation into Germany was also illegal, in particular, because the animal had no vaccinations.
"The keeping of a cougar in a small apartment is not only animal cruelty, but also dangerous for owners and neighbours. What looks small and cute now turns into a predator weighing up to 100 kilos."
Florian Eiserlo, Site Manager of FOUR PAWS' TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary
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The world of illegal wildlife smuggling
Tikam's story is yet another bizarre example of how easily exotic wild animals can be bought and smuggled as pets. This is due to insufficient controls and legislation to protect big cats.
Read more about exotic pets and illegal private keeping of wild animals as pets.