A puma that lives on a rooftop enclosure in Fgura not only has the authorisation to be there, but is in good shape, a government official with intimate knowledge of the case has confirmed.
“The owner has authorisation, and the puma is well-kept. The owner takes very good care of him,” the official told Lovin Malta. “The puma has an inside and outside area as part of its enclosure, and the puma is in good shape and has good welfare: he is fine.”
The puma lives in an enclosure with a double door system, which is “made in a way that makes it difficult for escapes”.
Under Maltese law, specifically Legal Notice 46, animals like pumas should be kept in a zoo. However, the law was passed in 2016, and the puma was on the island prior to that year
“What do you want us to do, put all those animals, including the puma, that were on the island before 2016 down?” the official said. “We made an exception since the puma was here prior to the law coming into force.”
While all of Malta was discussing the puma on a roof, the owner took yesterday’s outrage over his pet cat to heart
“The guy was crying – he might look like a tough guy, but he loves animals, and he loves his puma,” the official continued. “This whole ordeal has caused a disturbance to him; the authorities gave him authorisation, yet the public still condemn him.”
The owner had even moved the puma to Fgura to be closer to him and be with him constantly.
When asked if there was a risk of the puma escaping and attacking locals, the official replied: “Malta’s small, if an animal escapes from somewhere like Bingemma, it’s not going to take very long for it to arrive near people. But that’s not the point – the point is there is sufficient security for the enclosure as it stands.”
However, he conceded that “it’s not nice seeing a wild cat on a roof”.