Wild animal on the loose in Dubai community: Residents stay indoors

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on May 19, 2021

News of the predator on the prowl went viral on social media in no time late on Tuesday.

The normally bustling Springs Community of Emirates Living wore a subdued look on Wednesday morning, hours after a wild animal was spotted on the loose in the Dubai residential community.

The eerie silence that has settled over the neighbourhood was palpable, as residents steered clear of the artificial lake that skirts Emirates Hills, Meadows and Springs.


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News of the predator on the loose went viral on social media in no time late on Tuesday, with community WhatsApp groups buzzing non-stop with messages about the creature on the prowl.

Fear-stricken residents reacted with alacrity, as community parks and swimming pools were given a miss. There were hardly any nannies pushing strollers on the sidewalks and common areas, while some motorists were seen swiftly getting out of their cars and hurrying into the safety of their homes.

Arijit Nandi, who has been living at Springs for a decade, was one such panic-stricken resident.

He said: “I was checking under the car if anything was hiding below the vehicle. These kinds of animals camouflage well and this area is relatively much greener, especially around the lake. I called up my wife from the car and asked her to open the garage door for a quicker entry into the house instead of using the regular entrance. My mother-in-law didn’t go out for her usual morning walk around the lake on Wednesday. Everybody is visibly scared, and understandably so.”

Residents have taken all precautionary measures such as keeping their doors and windows locked from inside. They are staying clear of their backyards and children have been compelled to stay indoors too.

Sindya Sundar, an Indian expatriate, voiced her concerns as well. “I’m extremely fearful of stepping out of the house. I feel as if the animal is lurking around the corner. Until now, it never crossed my mind that anybody could be keeping such dangerous pets in the house. Springs has always felt like a very safe community. However, this incident has really left residents worried. My child, as well as my friends’ children, didn’t go out to play Tuesday evening. Until the wild animal is caught, we can’t be at ease.”

Katina Svalova, a Russian expatriate, echoed Sundar. “I have three cats and they usually potter around the garden area. They keep entering and exiting the house as the garden door is left open throughout the day. This news has left adults alarmed, but children are quite amused. I am also constantly on the phone, messaging and asking people to inform us about the latest news.”

As residents enter or exit their communities, many are making quick stops by the security guards' rooms to check for any updates on the elusive wild animal.

Police cars are lined up and ambulances parked in the neighbourhood, as authorities leave no stone unturned to calm residents’ frayed nerves.


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Members of the neighbouring communities are also keeping a vigilant eye out. “My villa faces the golf course and it’s certainly a bit rattling. We’ve been following this news since Tuesday. We’re surprised and also find it quite ridiculous to imagine a wild animal can be kept as a pet at home. I’m keeping my balcony doors locked, as even otherwise we often have cats jumping over,” said Shikha Pasari, an Indian expatriate and resident of Meadows 3.

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