|This cheetah is one of many exotic pets roaming the streets of the U.A.E|
The United Arab Emirates have been in the spotlight currently for being the major center of trade in exotic pets. But now, that threat has reached a whole new level as local residents are in a state of shock and fear in finding these animals out on the streets. This week's incident involved a five-month-old cheetah strolling down into a residence in the city of Al Ain. Fortunately, the cheetah was captured by the police and zoo authorities before being transferred to the latter's facilities for proper care. While this escapade was met with a happy ending, across the U.A.E, there is a rise in similar incidences of exotic animals escaping and endangering lives of people. This year, the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) of Dubai witnessed two separate incidences in which a lion and a tiger were spotted hanging out of car windows on separate occasions. On February 9th, a JBR resident was returning home after grocery shopping one evening when a white SUV pulled up at the traffic light. As the window rolled down, a few-month-old lion poked its head out, causing the residents to drop his bags in shock. Few weeks later, a similar incident occurred with a another SUV driving down the roads with a full size tiger hanging out the window.
|The same cheetah before being captured|
The incidences have led to residents voicing their concerns for their lives and the animals. One of them is JBR resident Marianna Darby, who stated that these exotic animals are not just endangering the lives of residents but are also ill-treated by their owners. She further added, saying that the animals are declawed with their teeth filed down and found in various states of malnourishment. One ideal example of the mistreatment of these escaped animals occurred in May last year, when a ten-month-old cheetah was spotted roaming the streets of Al Karamah. The animal was reported to have been subject of severe animal abuse, with a chain around its neck and malnourished. It was captured by authorities and brought to the Abu Dhabi Wildlife Center. Few months earlier, a two-year-old female cheetah was discovered swimming ashore from Khalid Port before taking refuge in a nearby mosque. At that time, media reports suggested she may have been part of illegal cargo aboard a dhow and jumped into the sea to escape its captors. She was then captured and sent to the Sharjah Desert Park.
|After the capture|
This article is a clear representation about the dangers of the exotic pet trade affecting the Middle East. In the United Arab Emirates, several exotic animals are seen roaming the streets causing grave concern to the citizens. While most of the animals focused are big cats, others included primates such as chimpanzees and reptiles like snakes and crocodiles. Many of these animals are subjected to a great deal of abuse, as they suffer serious injuries and malnutrition in the hands of their so-called owners. In addition to that, residents are also at a grave risk as these animals escape from their "masters" and go about roaming the streets. And while there has not been a report of such exotic animal attacking and injuring an innocent civilian, the fact that any of these escapees causing harm to the general public is bound to happen no matter what. Among the examples shown in this article include a member of Expatwoman.com, who was encountered by a monkey while walking on a beach. The animal flashed its teeth at her, causing a great deal of fear. Another involved a woman named Jhanavi Thaker, who came across a chimpanzee while walking on the Jumeirah public beach. The animal jumped at her sandwich, snatched it away, and started scratching her. Thankfully, the chimp's owner noticed and ushered his pet away. However, the situation could have been a whole lot worse. I personally believe that this article should be a wake-up call for the U.A.E and the Middle East to combat the exotic pet trade spilling into the towns and cities in the region. These animals are being illegally smuggled overseas, and are becoming subject of severe abuse and neglect far away from their natural habitats. This is why it is crucial to combat this ongoing threat for the sake of both the animals and the general public.
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