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Saudi prince kills endangered birds Hunting houbara bustards banned in Pak

QUETTA, Pakistan, April 24, (AFP): A Saudi prince with a taste for the traditional sport of falconry illegally hunted 2,100 endangered birds while on holiday in Pakistan, officials said Wednesday. Wildlife officials in Baluchistan province alleged to AFP that Prince Fahd bin Sultan and others in his party used specially trained falcons to kill the internationally protected houbara bustards while on a threeweek trip in January.

For more than a thousand years Bedouin falconers hunted the houbara bustard as a vital source of meat, according to experts. Jaffar Baloch, divisional forest officer in Chagai district of Baluchistan, said he had passed the details to his “superiors”. Another senior official in the Baluchistan forestry department confirmed the illegal hunting. “We requested our superiors to stop this practice in future, these birds are already endangered,” the official told AFP, asking for anonymity.

Hunting houbara bustards is banned in Pakistan but authorities issue special permits to wealthy visitors from Arab countries. Permit holders can hunt up to 100 of the protected birds in 10 days, but only in certain areas.

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