Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah, prohibited the ownership of exotic and wild animals within the emirate, promising a fine of Dha 100,000 to anyone caught with banned animals last year. The decree followed a trend prevalent throughout rich Gulf countries of owning animals such as cheetahs, lions, hyenas, pythons and alligators.
In an effort to encourage the handing over of illegal pets, an amnesty for offenders was announced. The emirate reported over 1,000 illegal exotic pets handed over to Environment and Protected Areas Authority officials.
However, although Sharjah is addressing the issue, other emirates and Gulf nations may need to consider following suit. As one Kuwait resident told Vice, buying illegal wild animals is "as easy as acquiring a cupcake."
Of course whats the point of buying a wild animal if you aren't going to post photos on social media about them? Here are some of our favorites with some added commentary.