By Faisal Masudi
We’ve bought a crocodile – again.
A Nile crocodile hatchling, cramped in a small box, was last week delivered to an undercover Gulf News team posing as buyers.
Under international rules, Nile crocodiles can’t be traded without strict permits, usually reserved for official purposes.
But crocodiles – and other dangerous animals – are easy to buy without permits in the UAE, our investigation shows.
We had exposed this underground trade in exotic pets in 2009, when we effortlessly managed to buy a Nile hatchling, which we nammed Harry, from the Sharjah Birds and Animal Market.
Also offered to us then were pricy cheetah and lion cubs, baboons, poisonous reptiles, and other wildlife on the restricted or banned list.
Four years on, it seems nothing has changed. We got Larry in a little glass cage. Harry cost Dh1,500, and four years on, we snapped up Larry for Dh,1000.
We are back at the Sharjah Birds and Animal Market to see what contraband is on offer. The salesman of the first pet shop we visit turns down our bid for a baby crocodile, saying “that’s illegal”. More....