Here in Dubai we’re used to seeing all kinds of wild exotic animals on people’s snapchat and Instagrams, but we didn’t expect to find one roaming freely around town.
Last weekend residents of Al Barsha were startled when a young lioness was seen on the prowl after having escaped from her owner.
The lioness walked around the area for over three hours before being captured by Dubai Municipality. After running off at 6pm, the big cat was eventually found between two houses, just after 8.30pm, where she’d attracted a large crowd of onlookers.
Thani Al Suwaidi told The National: “It was lying down. A trainer was next to it but the lion was not listening to him. It was just lying down because there were too many people and it was frightened.”
Mr Al Suwaidi continued: “A lion that size can’t jump really high, so basically it had to go through us. Thank God, alhamdulillah, we controlled the situation. As soon as we restrained the animal, she got a little erratic. We subdued her and then put her in our vehicle.”
The lioness, who has no name, was placed at the Dubai Municipality veterinary centre overnight, and was apparently more aggressive the following day. “She was trying to attack us all. We had to sedate her,” said Mr Al Suwaidi. “She sounds much bigger than she looks. She made me jump. When she roars, the sound is terrifying.”
The lioness will now be kept at Dubai Zoo.