Police Saturday scoured a forest in southern Poland on the hunt for a fully grown puma and its owner, who reportedly went on the run together to avoid the animal being placed in a zoo.
The man had been keeping the big cat illegally in his home in the southern town of Ogrodzieniec, 47 kilometers north-west of Katowice, Polish broadcaster TVN24 reported.
Following a court order, police and animal keepers went to the man's house on Friday to take the feline to Poznan city zoo.
But instead of letting his oversized pet go, the man threatened officials with a knife before fleeing into the forest with the puma.
Witnesses said the man had told the zoo director that the puma was his child, that he had raised the animal and would never give it up.
The police warned that the man, an ex-soldier who had served in Afghanistan, may have other "dangerous objects" with him as well as his knife.
The puma could also be dangerous.
"This is not a cuddly toy!" the zoo director told the TV station.