[WATCH] Puma owner posts Facebook video of controversial enclosure

Owner of puma shows off enclosure on Facebook video after animal rights groups cry foul

Etienne Gracey with the puma when it was still a cub
Etienne Gracey with the puma when it was still a cub

A tattoo artist whose enclosure for a big cat sparked controversy over alleged animal abuse, has shown off the specially-built enclosure on his Facebook profile.

Etienne Gracey posted photos of the enclosure as well as a video of his puma playing with him, after earlier in the week a distant video of the big cat pacing about in its cage triggered outrage on social media.

Referring to the animal as his “son”, Gracey claimed on Facebook that he had bought his property especially to be able to house the animal.

The animal appears to be in a relaxed state, enjoying its time with its owner as it snuggles with Gracey.

The environment ministry has also confirmed that the enclosure was according to regulations and that various inspections had shown there was no abuse in the way the animal was being kept. 

Animal rights groups slammed the regulations surrounding the ownership of big cats in Malta. Media reports said that neighbours had never seen the puma exit the enclosure.

A quick scroll through Gracey’s Facebook profile also reveals that he owns a selection of exotic pets including a vulture, an owl, a monkey and even a crocodile.