Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Dubai’s Crown Prince, is well-known as an animal lover and has recently introduced the world to his latest exotic pet via his Instagram account. He has posted a visit showing him laying on the ground feeding red meat to Moochi, a white-maned lion. Sheikh Hamdan has, in the past, posted pictures of himself with horses, camels, eagles and giraffes and recently was pictured with a new, exceedingly cute puppy called Tiny. Alongside Moochi, Tiny is a very apt name. The Crown Prince also looked after an Oryx that was found caught in netting last year.
Though keeping a lion as a pet may seem strange to us in the West, we see on our televisions an advert with a lady taking another big cat for a walk on a lead. Plus, one thing that, of course, should not be forgotten is, in bygone years some English castles including the Tower of London contained menageries. This is to say nothing of how the Romans used lions and tigers within their gladiatorial entertainment.
The thirty-six-year-old Crown Prince, the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, has a keen interest in animals as his many followers on Instagram have seen. But, his love of animals is more than just laying and feeding them! He is an accomplished camel-jockey and also horse rider, and has represented Dubai at a number of events through the years as an equestrian, winning a gold medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, France; team gold in 2012; and a bronze medal in 2010. He led a team of five UAE riders at Championships in Samorín, Slovakia on 17 September 2016.
He is also a member at Royal Ascot and active in the operation of the Godolphin Stable at Newmarket which both runs the racehorses of the Maktoum family and also closely monitors the breeding programme to ensure the steady flow of winners keeps going as it has for many years.