Puma Tikam at the TIERART Wild Animal Sanctuary

Puma Tikam

Bought as a pet in Czech Republic


Tikam was born in September 2018 and bought at the age of about 8 weeks by a private person from southern Germany for 2,300 € from a breeder in the Czech Republic. He was then brought illegally across the border without vaccinations and valid papers and kept in an apartment.

Tikam at the age of 5 months

Tikam at the age of 5 months

From a private apartment into species-appropriate keeping

After several residents and also the landlady had filed a complaint with the veterinary office when they saw the man with the cougar on a leash in the city park, they controlled the keeping conditions. The owner was ordered to immediately hand over the puma to a species-appropriate home – otherwise he was threatened with confiscation. The man then turned to TIERART and we agreed to take Tikam in. However, due to the lack of vaccination protection, he first had to be housed for a few weeks in the quarantine station of a German animal shelter.

Young puma Tikam at animal shelter Rüsselsheim/Germany

Young puma Tikam at animal shelter Rüsselsheim/Germany

New enclosure for puma Tikam

Tikam has been living at TIERART since February 2, 2019 and initially lived in a part of the tiger enclosure that had to be made "puma-proof" with a mesh roof, as they can jump up to 6 m high.

In order to be able to offer Tikam a species-appropriate home in the long term, we began planning an enclosure specially adapted to his needs immediately after his arrival. The construction work was repeatedly delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Tikam was finally able to move into his new enclosure on 26.04.2022. On 840 m2, climbing trees, sandstone formations and a small pond were waiting to be explored.

Tikam playing in his huge outdoor enclusure on Halloween 2022

Playful and as fast as lightning

Tikam loves to sneak up on quiet soles and then launch lightning-fast mock attacks. The young puma's urge to move and his pronounced play instinct are also the focus when it comes to choosing activity material. He especially enjoys playing with any form of balls or moving objects.

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Wild animals as pets

Tikam is a sad example of the inadequate legislation regarding the keeping of exotic wild animals in Germany.

In fact, the private keeping of puma, tiger, cheetah & co. is permitted in some federal states subject to certain (sometimes very low) conditions. In the case of Tikam, a "large" outdoor enclosure of just 100 m² would have been enough to allow him to be kept.

Puma Tikam at TIERART 2023

Sad loss of puma Tikam in 2024

On 12.04.2024, Tikam showed signs of discomfort and pain, accompanied by loss of appetite and vomiting. Our team reacted immediately and took him straight to the animal hospital, where a team of specialist vets used CT and ultrasound to determine the cause as a foreign body in the puma's intestine. The subsequent operation revealed that it was an undigested part of a bone that had become wedged in the small intestine and damaged the intestinal wall. The affected part of the intestine then had to be removed.

Although our team and our vets did everything in their power and Tikam was closely monitored and given medical care in his indoor enclosure at TIERART over the weekend, he unfortunately did not recover from the complicated operation and died completely unexpectedly for all of us on 16.04.2024

We are devastated and deeply saddened by this heavy and sudden loss and are still finding it difficult to realize it.

When caring for our wild animals, we attach great importance to feeding them as close to nature as possible. To ensure that the animals receive all essential nutrients and minerals, we feed them meat and bone. The teeth and the entire digestive system of carnivores are naturally perfectly designed for this. The fact that this tragic accident would happen to Tikam was unforeseeable and shakes us to the core.

Tikam and his story were unique. Illegally kept as a pet in Germany, he came to TIERART as a cub at the beginning of 2020 after the responsible authorities intervened, where he grew into a handsome puma over the years. We will always remember his friendly and playful nature, his boundless energy and curiosity. Tikam leaves a gap that will be hard to fill and he will be greatly missed not only by us, but also by our visitors.

Goodbye Tikam, we will miss you dearly!

Tikam hiding behind a tree

Facts about Tikam

  • I come from: a breeding center in the Czech Republic
  • My favorite food: beef and horse
  • I am: a bundle of energy and very playful
  • What the keepers say about me: We never expected that a baby puma would ever come to TIERART. Seeing Tikam grow up was something very special.

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