An new video doing the rounds on social media platforms features a lioness pacing the backseat of a white SUV, with a partial view of Sheikh Zayed Road in the background.
The date of the video cannot be confirmed at the time, but according to stats, it was uploaded on February 19 and has already garnered over half a million views.
The white Nissan Armada SUV with a Dubai license plate [which has been edited out here for privacy], is in traffic, with a lioness seen clearly moving in the backseat.
The grainy video appears to have been filmed by someone in traffic, positioned right behind the SUV, offering a sharp image of the wild animal as its face pushes up against the rear windshield.
This is not the first instance when a wild beast has been spotted enjoying a joyride through Dubai’s concrete jungle, with 2012 being the year of an African safari on these city streets, when a lion was spotted hanging out of car window on the Jumeirah Beach Residence stretch back in February, while in that same month a tiger was also snapped, glaring out from a front passenger window in Dubai Marina.
Meanwhile, in May 2011, residents of Abu Dhabi were terrified when a 10-month-old cheetah was discovered roaming the streets of Al Karamah.
The injured animal was said to have escaped its owner, with a chain around its neck and malnourished; it was finally captured by authorities and handed over to the Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre, according to media reports.
A few months earlier to that incident, another cheetah scare had residents in Sharjah locking themselves in their home when the wild cat was found swimming ashore from Khalid Port before seeking refuge in a nearby mosque.
The two-year-old female was sent to the Sharjah Desert Park after its capture.
Exotic animals have found willing buyers in the UAE and this website has reported on several wild animals easily available and being bought here.
In an earlier report, this website found illegal African cheetahs are becoming very popular as pets for some rich individuals who pay about Dh40,000 to own this dangerous pet.
Meanwhile, websites [which Emirates 24|7 has refrained from listing] are booming with buyers for exotic cubs, with white tiger cubs being the hottest sell, going for as much as Dh50,000 per pup.
However, several reports have also come forth of ill treatment of these animals, with most of these exotic pets being declawed, with their sharp teeth filed down and found in various states of malnourishment.
An earlier report carried by this website suggested that all these cheetahs are smuggled into the country from African countries.
The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water Resources has warned those involved in the illegal trade of wild animals in the country, and has reiterated that smugglers will be punished with fines and imprisonment.
The Ministry has warned that dealing in wild animals remains illegal and punishable under various rules and only licensed breeding centres are permitted to import such animals.
Punishment for smuggling or dealing with wild animals go up to Dh10,000 and imprisonment for a few months.