DUBAI // Two peafowl on the loose near Sheikh Zayed Road gave do-gooders and cars the run-around on Wednesday.
The large birds were spotted on the streets around the Dusit Thani Dubai hotel and they managed to evade staff who tried to capture them for their own safety.
The hotel concierge said that Dubai Municipality had been contacted to come and collect the birds.
“A number of hotel staff members were trying to contain the birds to make sure they don’t get run over by cars,” he said. “At the end of the day, they’re living creatures, and we don’t want them to get hurt, but we could not contain them, and we called Dubai Municipality.”
Esmeralda Spies, manager at Jones The Grocer, which is inside the hotel, said she saw the birds at the side entrance of the restaurant.
“I heard on the radio that there were two peacocks on Sheikh Zayed Road and I saw the two birds near the restaurant when I came in the morning. Maybe they wanted to have breakfast,” she said, adding that she could tell they were female birds, as she was brought up on a farm.
Hotel and restaurant staff were unsure where the birds came from, however, some said that it is possible they escaped from a nearby palace, where they are known to roam.
“Some staff members said that it was not very uncommon to see [exotic] animals on Dubai’s roads,” said Ms Spies.
The National spotted one of the peafowl crossing a road in the area as cars drove by and the other bird hid in bushes.
Hashim Mohammed Al Awadhi, director of the Veterinary Services Section at the municipality, could not confirm whether a report had been received but said that once animals are picked up, owners are given a three-day grace period to pick them up.
“The owner is fined because the animals must not have been properly contained and their escape could result in traffic incidents or public disturbance,” he said.
The fine for an escaped peafowl, or any other animal except camels, is Dh500. A camel is Dh2,000.
If an animal is on the loose in the city, people can call Dubai Municipality’s free hotline on 800900.