Manama: A passer-by in Kuwait lured a runaway lion roaming an upmarket suburb into his car and then called the police for help, in an incident that raised concerns about wild animals kept as pets.
Pictures in Kuwaiti media showed the animal glaring out of the back of a police car after it had been moved from the passer-by’s vehicle.
The lion, which police said was a young adult, filled the back seat.
“[The passer-by] sat inside the car with the lion and then it became dangerous so the citizen called police who came and took it from that car to their car,” a police source said.
The lion was picked up as it wandered the streets of Kuwait’s Bayan district, south of the capital, on Saturday.
Police are seeking the owner of the lion, believed to be someone who was illegally rearing it as a pet in a country where such animals are sometimes considered status symbols.
A number of families in the Gulf tend to keep small zoos of exotic and wild animals despite repeated warnings from the local authorities.
“People have to be very cautious when they select the animals they want to keep as pets in their homes,” Zuhair Al Nasr Allah, the head of the rescue police, said.
“These animals must not represent a danger to the family members or the neighbours or common people in public places,” he said, quoted by the local media.
The lion is believed to be a young adult that escaped from a private home.
Raids had been conducted on weekly open-air markets, mainly in Bahrain and Kuwait, to ensure that wild animals are not traded.
— With inputs from agencies