Man challenges 2-month jail term for hunting gazelle in UAE’s nature reserve

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Authorities had tried to stop him after spotting him hunting in the nature reserve and hitting the gazelle, but he sped away.

An Emirati man, who was convicted of illegally hunting a gazelle in a nature reserve in the UAE, has appealed his two-month jail sentence.

Official court documents stated that the man, who was hunting in the protected area in Al Dhafra, had hit the gazelle with his Nissan Patrol vehicle. He then carried the animal home where he slaughtered it and kept its meat.

Authorities had tried to stop him after spotting him hunting in the nature reserve and hitting the gazelle, but he sped away.

Police investigated the matter and arrested the man later.

The Court of First Instance had earlier sentenced him to two months in jail and fined him Dh5,000 after he was found guilty of hunting in a protected area.

The judge had also ordered the confiscation of the man’s vehicle and his knife.

The Emirati challenged the ruling in Abu Dhabi Appellate Court claiming that he wasn’t aware that the Al Dhafra reserve was a protected area.

He told the appellate court that the place where he was hunting was an open desert area with no barriers and no signposts showing that it was a nature reserve.

When the judge asked him why he fled the scene when authorities stopped him after he hit a gazelle, the man replied that he feared being arrested because he had an earlier court ruling which barred him from driving after his driving licence was seized for a period of four months.

His defence lawyer asked the court to change the charge from hunting in a nature reserve without permission and illegally hunting a gazelle to accidentally killing an animal that belonged to someone else.

The trial was adjourned to a future date.