Krista Miranda

By Krista Miranda

LifeBuzz Staff

The Cool Story Behind This Photo You've Seen On Facebook.

Having a pet brings a different sense of responsibility to a person's life. Not only do they have to care for their own well-being, but they have to care for the well-being of an animal. Typically, people decide to adopt a dog or cat. But sometimes, people decide to get an animal that's a little more exotic. Keep reading to discover what happened when a Russian couple adopted a puma!

Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev are a pretty normal, loving couple.

Well, considering the way they live their lives, normal might not be the best word to describe this couple. But there's definitely one thing for certain, this couple absolutely adores animals!

Mariya and Aleksandr were visiting the Saransk Zoo in Penza, Russia, when they met someone who would change their lives forever.

The Saransk Zoo was home to three puma cubs: Messi, Suarez, and Neymar, who were all named after World Cup soccer players. While Suarez and Neymar were born at the zoo, Messi was sold to the zoo when he was just eight months old.

Messi was suffering from health issues when he arrived at the zoo.

The staff realized that they weren't fully capable of nursing the young, sick cub back to health. Fortunately, Messi left a lasting impression on Mariya and Aleksandr Dmitriev.

Once the couple heard about Messi's condition, they thought that maybe they could buy him from the zoo.

“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. 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,” explained Mariya.

After a bit of consideration, Aleksandr and Mariya decided to make the leap.

“So we went to the zoo and started negotiations to buy Messi. We were surprised ourselves when they agreed," said Mariya. As excited as they were to bring Messi home, they would soon realize that Messi was much harder to take care of than a regular housecat.

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