Four lions were among the latest exotic pets to be taken from Sharjah homes since the beginning of the year, Gulf News has reported.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of Sharjah Environment and Natural Reserves Authority, told Gulf News that the department had confiscated four lions, one lioness, three pythons and two crocodiles, in addition to other wild animals.
The confiscation, which happened on Monday, was in cooperation with Sharjah Police after the department received a number of complaints from residents in Sharjah and the Central Region.
“We received complaints from residents about hearing a lion’s roar. It was scaring the children, especially at night time, and making people wonder how [the lion] could be inside a house,” Al Suwaidi said.
Confiscated animals are kept in quarantine for 40 days and later the department contacts zoos in the UAE, GCC and Europe asking them if they wish to obtain these animals, she said.
Dh100,000 fine for owners
Owners of exotic pets whose animals have been confiscated have been fined Dh100,000, and those who surrender their animals are exempt from the fine according to the decree which was issued by the Sharjah Ruler last year.
Sharjah Police bans any vehicle carrying animals from one emirate to another without permission. Individuals found violating the rule will incur a fine of Dh10,000.
For people keen on breeding wild animals, the Sharjah government has offered them a plot away from the city, provided the person obtains the requisite licences from the Environment and Natural Reserves Agency, in addition to other approvals from concerned authorities.
Inspectors from the department will visit the site on a regular basis to investigate and spot violations, if any.
Meanwhile, residents can report any wild animals to 8003722745 or Arabia’s Wildlife Centre at 06-5311999. Exotic pet owners can call the same numbers for inquiries or to hand over their animals.