5 LIONS, 3 PYTHONS, 2 CROCS – ANIMALS SEIZED IN SHARJAH
Lions and crocodiles among animals rescued in the UAE
Five lions, three pythons and two crocodiles are among the exotic “pets” that have been seized in Sharjah this year.
An official at the Environment and Natural Protected Areas Authority said they received numerous complaints from residents about animals being kept illegally - including from people living in apartments who said they could hear a big cat roaring.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of the authority in Sharjah, said: “Over the past few months, we have received complaints from residents about hearing lion noises from nearby apartments. This issue caused a major concern among residents, especially kids.
“Residents were wondering where these noises come from and how an exotic animal might be housed in an apartment.”
However, Al Suwaidi did not say whether the source of the sounds was ever tracked down. She did, though, say that the authority works with Sharjah Police when they receive a complaint. So far no one has been hurt.
Al Suwaidi said: “There have been no reports about any injuries caused by a housed exotic animal. Wild animals are a big threat to the safety of residents.”
HH Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, issued a decree in November 2014 banning residents from owning dangerous animals. The law excludes licensed zoos, scientific centres and universities.
Al Suwaidi said: “Owners of the confiscated exotic animals have been fined Dhs100,000.” The animals were also confiscated. The animals are quarantined for 40 days, while the department contacts zoos to see if they can be rehomed. Work is also under way on a Predators Shelter and Care Centre at Sharjah Desert Park.
Residents who suspect animals are being kept illegally can call 800 372 2745 or 06 531 1999.
BIG CAT: A lion is taken to a rescue centre after being seized in Sharjah