Cleopatra bound for new home

Authorities insist a rare Russian leopard kept as a pet by a Moscow family should be sent to a shelter in the southern city of Sochi, after the demolition of their house was ordered by the Moscow City Hall.

The house of the Bobyshev family has been destroyed, along with many others in the village of Rechnik. Environmentalists claim the houses were built there illegally.

After the Moscow zoo refused to accept the animal, Russia’s environmental watchdog gave instructions to send the animal to a shelter in Sochi. However, as of Friday authorities had not managed to take the cat out of the cage. The family left the village after the demolition of the house, and Cleopatra remained locked in the cage.

When Cleopatra finally arrives in Sochi, she could become neighbors with Masha, the tiger presented to the Russian prime minister more than a year ago, and then released into a safari park on the Black Sea.