Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gabons and Tigers and Cheetahs, oh my!

One thing many Emirates have here is money, and sometimes it seems like they just don't have enough to do with it. Even with all the luxury retailers, expensive restaurants and fancy cars, some people just need to find something a little more exotic ... like wild animals. The newspaper has been full of stories lately about exotic animal issues in an effort to educate the public that buying, selling and owning exotic animals is illegal, not to mention dangerous and abusive to the animals.

The first story was about a man captured at the airport as he was trying to smuggle in a baby Gabon monkey and 1 or 2 baby pumas ... in cages in his luggage! First, it sounds like animal cruelty as I think about how I agonized about bringing Rogue over in a nice big cage with a stop over in Amsterdam, I can't even imagine what these poor animals dealt with locked in a suitcase of some kind. Then it just seems stupid. Doesn't all baggage go through the x-rays these days? And what if the animals woke up, wouldn't someone hear the meowing suitcase? Well, obviously the guy had a plan for this, but it didn't work out this time around. The animals by the way were taken to a shelter and I think might be headed to one of the zoos where they will have good homes.

After that story, there was an expose about the Sharjah animal market where the reporters posing as normal shoppers were approached within 10 minutes of arrival asking if they wanted to buy a tiger or something (I might be getting my species mixed up, but you get the idea). This shop owner then posed for pictures showing him feeding rare parrots. Again, stupid! I keep looking for the follow up article where the police bust the exotic animal ring in Sharjah, but so far, that hasn't happened (or at least hasn't been reported by the paper.)

Today's story is about an 8-month old cheetah that was found roaming the streets in a neighborhood in Abu Dhabi. He had a broken paw and was wearing a broken chain so they think someone was keeping him on the roof of a villa and he escaped and jumped. He's now with the Wildlife Association and will get medical care and a new home somewhere. Really people?! I'm as taken in by the big cats as the next girl (okay probably a lot more so actually) but I'm smart enough to know that wild cats belong in the wild, not on the roof of a villa in Abu Dhabi.

And can you imagine the cat hair?

1 comment:

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