Moscow authorities have seized an endangered leopard that had been living in the basement of a Moscow apartment building, a few blocks from metro Polezhayevskaya.
Police and officials from the city's environmental management department raided the premises on Friday evening after receiving a tip from the Natural Resources Ministry, Interfax reported.
The leopard, whose species is listed in Russia's "Red Book" of near-extinct animals, has been taken to a shelter and treatment center just outside the city, in the Dmitrovsky District.
"The leopard is doing well," a representative of the Natural Resources Ministry told Interfax.
Authorities have launched a criminal case into the illegal acquisition and trafficking of an "especially valuable" wild animal, the report said. The culprits face up to five years in prison and a million-ruble ($27,900) fine.
This was not the first sad leopard story to feature among the Russian headlines in recent days.
Last Thursday, investigators in the far-eastern Vladivostok announced that a suspected poacher faced seven years behind bars for allegedly poaching a "critically endangered" Amur leopard and then attempting to sell its pelt.