Dubai: Lion, rare monkey among wild animals seized; owners arrested

The UAE law prevents the possession of dangerous animals to ensure the public's safety


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Reuters file for illustrative purposes
Reuters file for illustrative purposes

Published: Thu 4 Nov 2021, 10:30 AM

Last updated: Thu 4 Nov 2021, 10:56 AM

Lions, lion cubs and a rare monkey were among the eight wild animals seized by Dubai Police from individuals' homes recently.

A top official at the Department of Anti-Environment Crime at the Dubai Police said that these animals were owned for the purposes of possession, trade and hobby.

The UAE law prevents the possession of wild or endangered animals to ensure the public's safety. In coordination with the Dubai Municipality, the police routinely carry out inspections and take action against violators.

In most cases, the police and municipality teams receive information that these animals are seen wandering in residential units. They then seize the animal and transfer it to Dubai Safari after the necessary examinations. The owners are also arrested on the charge of exposing others to danger.

To preserve the lives of Dubai residents, the police have established a special section for combating environmental crimes and crimes against endangered or dangerous animals and plants.

"The possession of animals, such as lions, tigers, crocodiles and other animals, pose a threat to life, as such animals can cause injury or death to a person, especially when there are children at home," the official from the Dubai Police said.

More often than not, children are attacked when they unintentionally provoke the animal.

The official further explained that several laws are in place to regulate the possession of dangerous animals, including Federal Law No 24 of 1999 regarding the protection and development of the environment and Federal Law No 11 of 2002 to regulate and control international trade of endangered animals, among others.


These laws prohibit the possession of endangered animals or animals that are a symbol in Emirati culture, such as the owl, fox and other rare animals. The act of cutting down heritage trees is also illegal.

The official urged community members to immediately report people who own these animals or if they are offered for sale on social media by calling 901.

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