Middle East

Saudi authorities hunt for serial cat killer

Screengrab of a snap as tweeted by @naifco Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The perpetrator applied a Snapchat cat filter while recording himself talking about his killing spree

Saudi authorities are investigating a case of animal cruelty after a video surfaced online showing a man shooting and killing cats in Jeddah.

The Saudi government and and security forces said they are looking for the wanted man.

A Snapchat video showed him using a rifle to shoot cats in neighbourhood areas.

It prompted online anger with tens of thousands calling for the "cat butcher" to be held to account.

In the video, the cats are shown writhing in pain after being shot.

Commenting on his actions in the same video, the man - who also applied a Snapchat cat filter to his face - said this was "the price for four car washes".

Several online users called for his execution while some said he was "sick" and shared a ministry hotline for anyone witnessing acts of animal cruelty.

Some tweeted that his violent acts contravened Islamic teachings on care for animals, where an act of cruelty to an animal is considered a sin and equated to an act of cruelty to a human.

Among those who tweeted their thoughts was journalist Turki Shalhoub who said: "God will have mercy on those who show mercy toward others."

This isn't the first case of serial cat killers on the loose.

In June, 200 cats were poisoned inside a month in the French village of Saint Pierre la Mer.

In July, a man in California was jailed for 16 years after admitting he stole and tortured cats, killing 18 of them.

And in 2016, up to 30 cats were thought to have been mutilated and decapitated in south London over the course of two years.

By the UGC and Social News team and BBC Monitoring

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