Man jailed by Al Dhafra court after death of gazelle in protected reserve

The Emirati is appealing conviction for illegally hunting the animal, claiming it was an accident

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - July 10, 2019: Weekend's postcard section. An Arabian sand gazelle at the Mleiha Archaeological Centre. Wednesday the 10th of July 2019. Maleha, Sharjah. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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A man who killed a gazelle on a protected reserve has been jailed for two months and fined Dh5,000 after being convicted of hunting the animal.

Al Dhafra’s Court of First Instance was told the Emirati ran the gazelle over with his Nissan Patrol then slit its throat. The date of the incident and who reported it was not disclosed in court records.

The defendant said he was unaware the area was protected because there was no signage. A witness, who was not identified in court records, in evidence backed his statement, saying the site was not fenced off.

The court convicted the man of hunting a gazelle in a protected area and confiscated his car and knife.

On Thursday, the accused’s lawyer, Hadeya Al Hammadi, appealed the conviction, asking for the charge to be changed to accidentally killing an animal owned by another.

She argued that the gazelle was hit from the passenger’s side, indicating the driver did not intend to hit it.

She also said a vehicle should not be considered a hunting tool and asked for it to be returned to the family.

The case was adjourned without a new court date set.