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26 February 2024

Dubai’s JBR a mini safari: Big wild cat takes a ride on New Year's eve

Leopard spotted sitting in a SUV on New Year's Eve in JBR (Reader's Picture)

By Majorie van Leijen

As the New Year's eve parties drew to a close, the popular neighbourhood of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) was once again treated with the shocking exposure of a wild cat seated in the back of a black SUV.

It was a leopard this time. Or a cheetah. Emirates 24|7 was not able to verify from the picture taken which of the big wild cats it was.
“It was almost 3.30am, on Tuesday morning right after the New Years’ eve party. Me and my friends were walking out of a restaurant in JBR and there it was! A fiercely aggressive leopard sitting in the back seat of a black SUV sharply looking at people walking by with its sniper-like eyes...” an ‘Emirates24|7’ reader claims.
“No one noticed at first but when I grabbed my phone to take a picture, luckily I realised the auto-flash of the camera was on! I immediately turned it off so that it won't agitate the leopard and walked next to the SUV and took the picture.
"Then people noticed and started shouting out of scariness. The driver directly shut the windows and drove away.”
The leopard is not the first wild cat spotted in JBR.
Last year, some residents claim to have seen a tiger and a lion hanging out of cars in two separate incidents, and have remarked that the promenade is turning into mini safari.
“Only this time the residents are the ones roaming the concrete jungle while the wild animals cruise in the air conditioned cars,” commented JBR resident Andrew Pickard.
The tiger was allegedly driven around only a couple of weeks after a lion cub was showcased from the back of another SUV, which after it had stopped in front of a traffic light pulled down the window to allow the lion to have a glimpse of the public, or to have the public see him.
Although the animals were spotted in separate incidents, in all cases the element of the audience was what made the experience paramount. As crowds gathered around the wild animals, pictures and tweets have gone viral only minutes after, and so the touring animal has been topic of public debate.
In all cases the driver quickly takes off as the commotion around the touring wild cat increases. Although it is mere entertainment for some, many people consider the keeping of wild animals as pets as undesirable.
“It is something really dangerous to the public and roaming around with a killer cat in your back seat is not what you can call keeping a "pet". There should be something done about that or else things will turn in the wrong way if the cat decided to attack!” says the reader who witnessed the leopard on New Year's eve.