CORRECTS PERIOD SINCE CUBS WERE REMOVED FROM MOTHER - Rasa Veliute holds a four- month- old puma who lives in her apartment in Klaipeda, Lithuania, Friday, April 12, 2013. 23 year old Veliute, a volunteer at a private zoo in Klaipeda seaport says she took three cubs home four months ago when their mother refused to care for them. Veliute said Friday the pumas have grown fast and will have to be returned to the zoo this summer. (AP Photo/ Ausra Pilaitiene)
KLAIPEDA, Lithuania (AP) — A Lithuanian woman says she has been raising three pumas in her three-room apartment after fearing for their lives at the local zoo.
Rasa Veliute, a 23-year-old volunteer at the zoo in Klaipeda, a Baltic Sea port town, says she took the cubs home four months ago after their mother began neglecting them.
The pumas — also known as mountain lions or cougars — are named Kipsas, Gipse and Kinde. Veliute says they eat a lot of chicken and get along well with her East European shepherd dog.
There is no Lithuanian law barring keeping the animals at home, and the zoo did not object to Veliute's actions. But Veliute told reporters Friday that the pumas have grown fast and will likely return to the zoo this summer.