Dubai: The best place for a deer is probably a forest. However the taste for more exotic pets means these animals are now for sale in the UAE, and it is perfectly legal.

Residents wishing to have Bambi running around their garden were in luck on Saturday when a family advertised five deer for sale at Dh10,000.

The keeper said many people have already called to make a bid or book a viewing.

There are four females and one male. Lesser offers or attempts to split up the group were met with instant refusal.

According to the director of Al Ain Zoo, Mark Craig, the deer look like Indian Spotted, or Axis, deer - based on the photographs.

"They are quite easy to look after but they need appropriate space, food and water and to be cleaned out regularly," he said.

These are not endangered and are endemic to India. It is the most common deer species in Indian forests and its coat is reddish fawn, marked with white spots and white under-parts.

An official at the Ministry of Environment and Water which handles quarantines and animal permits said keeping deer is not illegal providing that the species is not endangered.

"The deer has to be inspected at the entry point. If it is an endangered species it needs to have papers that the acquisition is legal. If it is not endangered they will also have papers but do not need to keep them with the animal," he said.

Apparently bought at the Sharjah Bird and Animal Market, the deers are aged between 18 months and four years and have been with the family for a while. The cage is large and spacious and food and water are plentifully provided.

According to the Indian man who is showing potential buyers around the residential garden where a large covered cage sits in the grass, the deer are being sold because they have gotten too big.

"Smaller animals are nicer for the children. They are too big now and the family will buy more, but smaller," said the man, who did not know the breed of the deer, only that they were from India.

Your comments

It's very cruel. Let them go to their own world. They have a right to enjoy life the same as us.
Abu Dhabi,UAE

Selling a pet animal is a really sad thing to do! If you can't keep them, can't take care of them and cant feed them then, then just give them to someone who really can do all these things! I think.

It is not appropriate to sell these wonderful animals. Instead they should be surrendered to the government zoo to take legal action for the these animals.

It is a shame. The real place for these animals is in a zoo or forest. It is high time that they are moved to natural areas and this practice stopped. Otherwise it will be the beginning of a new trade in which an ordinary person is not aware of it.

A very good article and interesting. I would like to buy them all, can somebody give me the mobile number of the owner.

If people can keep cats and dogs as pets, then why not deers? There is nothing wrong with it if people take good care of them and give them enough space to move around.

These animals should not be caged and should be allowed to be free. This type of irresponsible action totally sickens me. I don't imagine the family would like to be caged and then sold off because they are getting too old!

I feel that the owner is being very considerate in not splitting the group. If it is legal then it is fine for the current owner to look for a new home for his pets and ask for a price. I hope he finds a caring owner for these pets. That said, I don't think it is ethically right for him to go and purchase more small animals and continue to sell them when they grow bigger. That he needs to re-think!

I think that there should be a thorough investigation before letting such endangered creatures in. In the UAE we don?t have time for ourselves, let alone time for animals. They need to be happy and free in their own habitat. Please wake up people and come to your senses!

It's so stupid for anybody to pet such an animal which has not been domesticated yet. The law should be revised regarding the matter.
Abu Dhabi,UAE

I think that if people really love animals and keep them as pets, then the animals should not be sold but just given to people who will really take care of them. Just because the animals have grown big and smaller animals are nicer for children, they have to be sold and again they will buy smaller animals and the same cycle will go on. This is bad as the animals too get used to their owner. I might be wrong but I feel hurt when I come across such articles.

It makes me so mad to read articles like this. How can this be legal and how can somebody possibly keep them as pets? If they want pets let them buy a dog or a cat!

I feel this is wrong. These wonderful creatures run for miles and miles a day. You cannot keep them in an enclosure. Authorities should issue a law banning this act.