A lion found roaming the streets of al-Khobar in eastern Saudi Arabia was tranquilized and taken safely to a shelter, the Kingdom’s National Center for Wildlife (NCW) said in a tweet on Tuesday.
The NCW received a report about the large cat in the city, which is near Dammam, and managed to drug it and take it to a shelter under the care of specialist veterinarians without causing any harm to the animal, the center added in its tweet.
#السعودية الحياة الفطرية: السيطرة على #أسد طليق بعد تلقي بلاغ عن وجوده في أحد الشوارع بمدينة #الخبر.— خليجية نيوز (@khalejianews) October 12, 2021
حيث تم التعامل مع #الأسد وتخديره ونقله إلى مركز الإيواء تحت رعاية متخصصين وإشراف بيطري،وتمت السيطرة دون وقوع أي ضرر على السكان أو على الكائن#المركز_الوطني_لتنمية_الحياة_الفطرية pic.twitter.com/csagDkC4hV
A video circulating online appears to show the lion strolling along a pavement outside a house with two passersby watching.
Owning dangerous animals, defined as “predators,” is illegal in Saudi Arabia.
Despite being against the law, exotic animals remain popular pets in the Kingdom, where cheetahs have been known to fetch prices of up to $6,000, according to the Saudi Gazette.
On April 15, a man in Riyadh was mauled to death by a lion that he was keeping in a private residence, a relative of the victim told Al Arabiya.
The man had been given the lion by a friend two months earlier. Police were called and shot the lion to death.