Saudi Prince Hunting Trip Results in Deaths of 2K Endangered Birds

Image: Saudi Prince Hunting Trip Results in Deaths of 2K Endangered Birds Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 11:13 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A Saudi prince's hunting trip in Pakistan recently resulted in more than 2,000 endangered birds being killed in a three-week period.

In total, Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud killed 1,977 of the endangered birds during a 21-day hunting trip in Pakistan at the end of January. The birds targeted in the safari were the nearly extinct houbara bustards that are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, The Huffington Post reported.

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In addition to the Saudi prince's killing spree, other members of his hunting party took down 123 additional birds, bringing the final death toll to more than 2,100, Pakistan's English-language daily newspaper Dawn News reported.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the houbara bustard is vulnerable to extinction, with Pakistan's current estimated population of 110,000 decreased by 30 percent on an annual basis, Yahoo News reported.

Despite their status as an endangered species, the rare bird is an apparent a delicacy across the Middle East, where its meat is considered an aphrodisiac, Trans Asia News reported.

"Is there any more ridiculous reason to kill an animal?" Naeem Sadiq, a Karachi-based environmental activist, told the Guardian in February before the details of the hunt were released. "If it's illegal for Pakistanis to kill these birds why should the Arab sheiks be allowed to do it?"

In response to the report, Pakistan's Foreign Office told Dawn News that hunting permits were issued to members of the Saudi Royal family with a cap of 100 birds per person.

According to Yahoo News, shortly after the illegal hunt was reported by Pakistani media, Saudi Arabia loaned Pakistan $1.5 billion to help prop up its economy.

It is unclear whether or not the Saudi prince will face any punishment for his targeted mass killing of the endangered birds.

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