Cheetah roams streets near Dubai

December 8, 2010 5:20:05 AM PST
Who's missing a cheetah?

That's what authorities in the United Arab Emirates are asking Wednesday after one of the big cats was captured roaming the streets of Sharjah, the emirate just north of Dubai.

The urban safari had gawkers watching the cheetah swimming off a Sharjah port and then walking past a hotel and offices on Tuesday. Media reports say the wayward cat was trapped near a mosque and handed over to animal rescue officials.

It's still unclear where the cheetah came from.

Cheetahs once lived across wide areas of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. But it's no longer believed to have any habitats on the Arabian peninsula. Its closest suspected range to Dubai are pockets in northern Iran.

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