KUWAIT CITY, Oct 15: In the largest sale of its kind ever, a small rare breed falcon weighing 1.1 kg which was caught in the wild in Hafar Al-Batin in northeastern Saudi Arabia fetched more than 170,000 dollars during an annual auction for a bird of prey of prestigious status in the Gulf countries, reports Al-Rai daily. The auction organizers at the Saudi Falcon Club said in a statement the bird was sold on Tuesday for 650,000 Saudi riyals ($173,000) due to its unique characteristics and rarity.
The club described the sale as the largest in the world for a bird of the small Shaheen breed. Falconry, and its training in hunting, is an important part of the desert cultural heritage in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other neighboring countries and dates back to thousands of years.
Falcons can exceed 300 kilometers per hour, but have become internationally recognized as an endangered species. Countries set various regulations governing their sale, hunting, breeding and fishing activities using them. The auction which began on the third of October runs until November 15. Owners of falcons in the Gulf seeking hunting opportunities, usually with their birds, travel by plane to countries such as Pakistan, Morocco a