Puma, black panther in suspected dog attack at Għajnsielem house

Two wildcats kept in a residence in Għajnsielem are confiscated and the owner is being investigated by the police and animal welfare officials over lack of permits

A puma and black panther have been confiscated in Gozo after a suspected attack on a dog as authorities investigate the owner for lacking the necessary permits.

Animal Rights Minister Anton Refalo confirmed in parliament on Monday that an investigation on the case is ongoing. He also confirmed that a dog had been injured at a residence where exotic animals were kept.

In official replies to this newspaper, the police confirmed that their assistance was requested by the Animal Welfare Department in their investigations of “alleged irregularities regarding possession of exotic animals in Għajnsielem.”

Sources close to the investigation told MaltaToday that the wildcats were found in a residence in Għajnsielem and were not covered by the necessary permits and documentation.

The sources said the animals were confiscated but are being kept at the same residence because the Animal Welfare Department does not have the space or facilities to care for them.

Questions sent to the Animal Rights Ministry on 10 January about the case remained unanswered.