Ruffling feathers: Saudi prince kills roughly 2,000 birds in one hunting trip
The Houbara Bustard is classified as a vulnerable species because of hunting and habitat degradation. (AFP/File)
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A Saudi prince has reportedly killed about 2,000 birds considered to be on the brink of extinction during a hunting expedition to Pakistan in January.
Prince Fahad Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud hunted 1,977 houbara bustards and local representatives and other labourers from the hunting party killed 123, bringing the hunt’s death total to 2,100, local daily Dawn News reported.
Each year, the birds, protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, migrate from Central Asia to the deserts of Pakistan, where its highly prized meat is considered an aphrodisiac.
The 21-day hunting safari in Chagai, Balochistan was from January 11 to January 31, Dawn News said, citing a report by the Balochistan forest and wildlife department.
Hunting of the internationally protected bird is banned in Pakistan, but the federal government issues special permits to royals.
The permits that are person specific and cannot be used by anyone else, allow the holders to hunt up to 100 houbara bustards in 10 days in the area allocated, excluding reserved and protected areas.
The report, dated February 4, 2014, says that during the 21-day safari the prince hunted the birds for 15 days in the reserved and protected areas, poached birds in other areas for six days and took rest for two days.
The report then gave details about the dates and areas of the houbara bustard hunting.