The web is abuzz over a tiger which was recently spotted weaving through traffic along a busy highway in Doha, the capital of Qatar. With a broken chain still attached to its collar, the animal appears to be an escaped pet but the owner has yet to surface – and might forever remain unknown, especially because it is actually illegal to keep wild animals as pets in Qatar (and in many countries)!
In Qatar, keeping wild animals as pets can land the owner in jail for 6 months; he should also pay a fine.
Several photos and videos of the tiger dodging traffic on the Doha Expressway were uploaded on social media.
Okay … now this is abnormal situation … pic.twitter.com/Smv4rkzN6n
— محمد بن سعيد (@Swaiidz) March 8, 2016
Soon, these reached the Gulf country’s Ministry of Interior which issued the following statement on its official Twitter page:
We assure all that the concerned authorities (are) following up with what has been trending over spotting a tiger in some areas of the country.
While exotic cats are widely kept as pets in wealthy Gulf countries, such is against the law; though it appears that this law is readily ignored since there has been a rise of complaints from angry/scared residents regarding neighbors keeping pets like tigers, cheetahs, and lions in their homes, a member of the Convention on the Illegal Trade of Endangered Species recently revealed.
Still, even with the Ministry’s announcement, there has been no confirmation as of press time that the escaped tiger has already been captured. We hope it will be captured soon…
Exotic Animals as Pets
Many exotic or wild animals are potentially dangerous yet this does not stop people from trying to keep them as pets, not just for the thrill of owning a dangerous creature but also for bragging rights. After all, not everyone can keep such dangerous (and expensive!) pets at home.
Still, while wild cats are illegal in most parts of the world – even in the rich Persian Gulf countries – there are a number of exotic pets you can have at home for a hefty price.
Number one on the list is the chimpanzee which you can legally own starting at $60,000. The Hyacinth Macaw can be yours for $12,000 and baby Squirrel Monkeys for $8,000.