Zookeepers injured after jaguar attack in UAE

The jaguar escaped after workers accidentally left the cage door open. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Zookeepers injured after jaguar attack in UAE

  • No members of public were harmed in the incident
  • The men were rescued when their colleagues at Al Ain Zoo used a fire extinguisher to fend off the big cat

DUBAI: Two zookeepers were attacked by a jaguar that escaped from its enclosure after a cage door was accidentally left open at a UAE zoo, national daily Gulf News reported.

The men were rescued when their colleagues at Al Ain Zoo used a fire extinguisher to fend off the big cat.

One of the zookeepers managed to escape quickly, while the second had to be rescued. Both are now making full recovery, with one already discharged, the report added.

No members of public were harmed in the incident, and zoo authorities have launched investigation of the incident.

“We are investigating the incident to determine its causes and make the necessary recommendations,” Ghanem Mubarak Al Hajeri, director general of Al Ain Zoo said.

Al Ain Zoo opened in 1968, and since then housed over 4,000 animals across 200 species. Al Ain is the second city of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. 


No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

Updated 20 January 2019
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No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

  • That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics
  • The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths

BAGHDAD: Roaring along Baghdad’s highways, the “Iraq Bikers” are doing more than showing off their love of outsized motorcycles and black leather: they want their shared enthusiasm to help heal Iraq’s deep sectarian rifts.
Weaving in and out of traffic, only the lucky few ride Harley Davidsons — a rare and expensive brand in Iraq — while others make do with bikes pimped-up to look something like the “Easy Rider” dream machines.
“Our goal is to build a brotherhood,” said Bilal Al-Bayati, 42, a government employee who founded the club in 2012 with the aim of improving the image of biker gangs and to promote unity after years of sectarian conflict.
That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics.
“It is absolutely prohibited to talk politics among members,” Bayati told Reuters as he sat with fellow bikers in a shisha cafe, a regular hangout for members.
“Whenever politics is mentioned, the members are warned once or twice and then expelled. We no longer have the strength to endure these tragedies or to repeat them,” he said, referring to sectarian violence.
With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw.
But while their style is unmistakably US-inspired — at least one of Bayati’s cohorts wears a helmet emblazoned with the stars and stripes — these bikers fly the Iraqi flag from the panniers of their machines.
The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths. One of their most recent events was taking party in Army Day celebrations.
Some are in the military, the police and even the Popular Mobilization Forces, a grouping of mostly Shiite militias which have taken part in the fight to oust Islamic State from Iraq in the last three years.
“It is a miniature Iraq,” said member Ahmed Haidar, 36, who works with an international relief agency.
But riding a chopper through Baghdad is quite different from Route 101. The bikers have to slow down at the many military checkpoints set up around the city to deter suicide and car bomb attacks.
And very few can afford a top bike.
“We don’t have a Harley Davidson franchise here,” said Kadhim Naji, a mechanic who specializes in turning ordinary motorbikes into something special.
“So what we do is we alter the motorbike, so it looks similar ... and it is cheaper.”