A lion, two hyenas, five baboons and numerous apes have been surrendered to Kuwait Zoo by residents following a crackdown on wild animals kept as ‘pets’.
Authorities began confiscating the wild animals from people’s homes and backyards after a Filipina maid was mauled to death by a lion in her employer’s home in December.
The doctor who treated the woman was held responsible for her death, rather than the lion’s owner, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported.
The animals recently surrendered were taken to Kuwait Zoo, which is the only legal place they can be cared for, a newspaper reported.
“We got them from people around Kuwait,” a zookeeper told a local daily. “Some apes were brought in by the police too. The lion is just a cub and not dangerous at all, but it will be once it grows up.
“But the hyenas are already big and dangerous. The baboons surrendered to us are native to the Arabian Peninsula. They can be kept as pets but need extra care since they are sensitive creatures.
“This is why we are not recommending anyone to keep them as pets at home, especially if they have kids. Baboons should be in the wild or cared for by a zoo.”
Despite being illegal, wild animals are occasionally sold at markets on Fridays. “The problem is if you don’t know how to handle animals, they remain a danger despite their daily diets. Even if you know how to feed or take care of animals, they are [dangerous],” the zookeeper said.
The government also has reinforced a law banning walking dogs in public places. The legislation has existed for many years but had been barely enforced in recent times, the daily said. Dogs are considered haram in Islam.