Escaped tiger prowls around traffic in Qatar

Talk about a hair-raising commute to start the week.

Drivers in the energy-rich Mideast nation of Qatar got a surprise Monday when an escaped tiger was seen prowling among cars on a major motorway in the capital of Doha.

The country’s Ministry of Interior later posted on Twitter that the owner of the tiger has been identified. It added that the animal was handed over to “competent authorities and further legal proceedings have been initiated.”

Video and pictures circulating on social media showed the tiger making its way between vehicles in the capital, Doha. Other images showed a man in a traditional white robe holding the big cat on a chain.

Some wealthy Arabs in Qatar and other Gulf states keep big cats as status symbols despite prohibitions against the practice.

A lion escaped its Dubai owner's home in January and was captured wandering a residential neighborhood. In Kuwait, a man was sued in 2014 after his pet lion escaped and attacked a Filipina maid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.