Keeping cheetahs and other wild animals as pets is now illegal in the UAE
In Gulf states owning exotic animals is often considered a status symbol.
In the wake of a new law passed in the United Arab Emirates, walking around with a leopard on a leash could now land you in jail, The Time reports.
Dubai-based newspaper Gulf Newsreported Tuesday that keeping “all types of wild and domesticated but dangerous animals,” as pets is now outlawed in the country. Those caught with a leopard, cheetah, or any other kind of exotic animal in public, the report said, would face a jail term or up to six months, a fine of up to $136,000, or both.
In Gulf states owning wild animals, and big cats in particular, is often considered a status symbol, denoting power and wealth, reports the BBC.
Pictures on social media have depicted cheetahs on the hoods of Bentleys, or lions riding in cars. In neighboring Qatar a Twitter user posted a video that showed a tiger bounding past clogged traffic.