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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

The roar of the ocean: video of two lions walking on a Dubai beach emerges

The short clip shows the two large beasts walking through the water before turning towards the camera to show the Burj Al Arab hotel in the background

A video has surfaced that shows handlers walking two lions near the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. 
A video has surfaced that shows handlers walking two lions near the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. 

They are not your typical sea lions – in a newly emerged clip on Twitter, two big cats can be seen being walked along a Dubai beach by handlers.

It is not known when the video was taken, or who the lions belong to, but the short clip shows the large beasts walking through the water before turning towards the camera to show the Burj Al Arab hotel in the background.

It is not the first time a video has emerged of big cats being kept as pets in the UAE — a practice that is against the law.

A 2016 law stipulates that only zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centres are permitted to keep dangerous, wild or exotic animals. Anyone found owning a dangerous animal will be fined between Dh10,000 and Dh100,000. Penalties are doubled for repeat offences.

The law, which came into force last year, also revoked any permits issued to other private entities to import such animals.

However, last year The National reported that the trade in wild animals was still thriving. Cheetahs were still regularly spotted for sale via popular online forums such as Instagram and Facebook.

And this month, it was revealed that tigers, cheetahs and poisonous snakes were among the dozens of wild animals rescued from private homes in Sharjah.

Up to 142 animals have been confiscated from homes to date — a figure that is down two thirds from the 422 dangerous animals seized in the emirate last year.

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Read more:

Dubai at heart of countering global animal trafficking, report finds

Cheetahs sell for tens of thousands on 'gold mine' social media accounts across Middle East

Big cats continue to be sold in UAE via social media despite federal law