Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Abandoned 'kitten' adopted by girl turns out to be wild puma
26 November 2019, 14:35
A teenage girl in Argentina discovered that an abandoned pet cat she had rescued months earlier was actually a wild puma.
Florencia Lobo and her brother rescued what they thought were two small cats while fishing in northern Argentina in September this year.
She named the "cats" Tito and Dani, but Dani died suddenly two weeks later.
A couple of months after finding Tito, she took him to a local vet because he had injured one of his legs in a fall.
The vet told her that he was not a normal cat, but being unable to identify his species, they gave her the number of a local nature reserve.
The Horco Molle nature reserve then revealed that Tito was in fact a jaguarundi puma, which is native to southern North America and South America.
Jagarundi pumas are known to eat almost any small animal they can catch, such as rodents, small reptiles, and ground-feeding birds.
The Argentine news outlet El Tucumano reported that Ms Lobo had noticed that Tito was a bit too active for a cat, but hadn't been concerned.
"He liked to play, bite and run pretty fast,' Ms Lobo said. "He liked to get on the table and jump from there, he thought it was normal."
It is likely that Tito injured his leg from running and jumping excessively.
Ms Lobo had to reluctantly hand over her pet to the Argentine Animal Rescue Foundation.
According to Reuters, Tito is currently under the care of the nature reserve, and there are plans to return him to his natural habitat.
In the wild jagarundi pumas are generally encountered alone, suggesting they lead a solitary lifestyle.