Ex-Soldier Who Fled With Puma Turns Himself Over To Police

Channels Television  
Updated July 17, 2020
Why would anyone keep a puma, a dangerous carnivorous predator, as a pet? (AFP Photo/Andres PINA)
Why would anyone keep a puma, a dangerous carnivorous predator, as a pet? (AFP Photo/Andres PINA)



A former Polish soldier who fled into a forest with his pet puma to avoid handing it over to a zoo, gave himself up to police on Sunday after a three-day manhunt.

About 200 officers were deployed to track down the former Afghan war veteran and the big cat.

The former soldier “Kamil Stanek voluntarily turned himself over to police in Zawiercie and was later released”, the police in the southern Polish city said on their Facebook page.

The puma was transferred to the care of a zoo following the drama.


About 200 officers have been involved in trying to track down Afghan war veteran Kamil Stanek and Nubia the puma for three days.


“We’re pleased to report that (the puma called) Nubia is surrounded by the professional care of employees at the zoo in Chorzow,” the police said.

Keeping such dangerous animals is banned in Poland, and the man had been ordered by a court to turn the animal over to a zoo.


Poznan zoo, which is around 200 miles away from the forest where Stanek has fled to outside Myslowice, alleges that the war veteran has been taking the puma around the country and charging £600 for people who want to pet her.


Zoo officials said people should be aware that big cats were not pets.

“It’s not a cuddly toy. It’s one of the most dangerous animals in the world and it could be a real threat to people’s lives,” said Ewa Zgrabczynska, head of the Poznan zoo in western Poland.

Zoo workers went to Stanek’s house in southern Poland on Friday but were met with a hostile response.

The army veteran threatened them with a knife before fleeing with the puma on a leash, according to local media reports.

Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper said the man had bought the animal six years ago in the Czech Republic and had been raising it at his home.

Stanek’s bid to keep Nubia had won support in some quarters.


Nubia the puma with one of Stanek’s dogs on the sofa at his home.


“Love for the animal and a heartless court decision forced him to flee. He is hiding in the forest,” Dariusz Wojtowicz, mayor of the southern town of Myslowice, said on Facebook.


One of Stanek’s legal pet cats with his illegal pet cat, the puma Nubia.


“Maybe someone could take a more humane look at this case,” he said, posting images of the man he identified as Kamil S. and the puma.