David Miguel says his heart nearly stopped after coming face-to-face with the growling creature after nipping to the loo
A young Brazilian boy had the shock of his life following an impromptu loo break during a school football match, when he encountered a wild puma in the toilet cubicle.
Nine-year-old David Miguel admitted that “my heart almost stopped” when he pushed open the receptacle door to find a hissing and growling puma the other side, immediately rushing outside to tell his father.
The incident happened at the Martha Drummond Fonseca Municipal School in the municipality of Nova Lima, near the city of Belo Horizonte, in the south-eastern part of the country.
Young David told local reporters: “I was trembling like jelly – it went grr and my heart almost stopped.”
His dad Rodrigo Almeida, 34, admitted that he also got the shock of his life, especially when he saw what the creature was: “I thought it was going to be an ocelot, a wild dog or something else.
“The moment I saw the animal was that size, I ran back.”
The school contacted the local fire department and the military environmental police, who hurried to the scene, where they managed to quell the animal with a tranquilliser dart, before releasing the young female back into the wild.
The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), who helped return the creature back into its natural habitat, said the wild cat was unharmed in the incident.
Pumas can grow up to eight feet long in the wild and weigh around 80kg, and are the most widespread of any large wild terrestrial mammals in the Western Hemisphere.
Vet Marcos Mourao, who helped with the release of the beast, explained that deforestation is causing an increase in wild animals approaching urban areas.
He said: “We know this has been happening due to increased deforestation, large wildfires, and the destruction of the natural habitat of these animals.
“Then, in their escape, they end up crossing into towns and cities.”
In the event of coming across a dangerous wild animal, Mourao advised residents to avoid making too much noise, leave the area slowly, and contact the emergency services right away.