On the internet, we jokingly call domesticated black cats “house panthers,” but a woman in Russia actually has the real deal.
The woman, who chooses to remain anonymous for safety reasons, shares snapshots of her life with a Persian and Amur leopard mix, often referred to as a black panther. The giant feline is named Luna, and she’s a bit of a celebrity online.
Luna’s mom was part of a traveling zoo when she gave birth. Seven days afterwards, for reasons unknown, she rejected one of her cubs.
The zoo had no resources to care for a motherless newborn, so they contacted Luna’s current owner because she had experience rehabilitating wild cats. That’s how Luna came to live with her new human mom at just 8 weeks old.
Luna had some health problems when she was born, so nursing her back to health was a full-time job for several months. The cat is now fully grown and in good health, and her millions of fans worldwide love seeing her thrive in her new home.
The panther currently lives inside the house, but they’re building her an outdoor enclosure so she can have more room to roam.
She loves the snow, and there are many videos showing her running majestically through the woods with snow scattered across her gleaming coat.
Just a few weeks after she came to her new home, Luna’s human introduced her to a new friend. The female Rottweiler who often shares Luna’s spotlight is named Venza, and the pair are practically inseparable.
“Venza in fact thought that Luna was her cub,” their mom said. “As soon as the dog saw the panther she started licking her fur, they bonded instantly.”
Some people have asked whether Luna should be put into a regular zoo, but her owner insists she’s happy at home. Not only that, but she and her dog have bonded with the big cat so much that they can’t imagine giving her up.
“She is more than a rescued pet for me, she is the part of my heart,” her mom said.
“I have friends among owners of private — very good ones! — zoos, they are ready to take Luna any minute,” she said. “But right now I’d like to try and find the way to keep her with us, and to create conditions that she is happy.”
She sure looks happy to us!
Normally we wouldn’t want to see a gorgeous creature like this living anywhere but in the wild, but there’s obviously a close interspecies connection at work here!
Watch Luna and Venza playing in the Siberian woods in the video below, and don’t forget to share this incredible story.
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