Unlucky bustardsUnlucky bustards

Saudi prince goes on bird-killing spree

During 21-day safari in Pakistan, royal hunts down 2,000 birds — almost 2% of endangered species

Houbara Bustard (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Wikipedia)
Houbara Bustard (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Wikipedia)

A Saudi prince and his entourage killed over 2,000 birds of an endangered species during a 21-day January safari trip in Pakistan, according to a report by a forest and wildlife department official.

“The total bustards hunted by Prince Fahd bin Abdul Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud are 1,977 and total bustards hunted by local representatives and other labourers are 123 bringing the grand total to 2,100,” Jaffar Baloch, divisional forest officer of the Balochistan forest and wildlife department, wrote in a report uncovered by Pakistani news website

Sultan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk Province, allegedly violated the terms of his hunting permit, which allowed him to kill up to 100 birds in a span of 10 days outside of reserved and protected areas.

The report also charges that he spent 15 days hunting in forbidden areas during his 21-day safari January 11-31 of this year.

Prince Fahd bin Abdul Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (photo credit: R. D. Ward)
Prince Fahd bin Abdul Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (photo credit: R. D. Ward)

There are only around 110,000 houbara bustards left in the world, which has moved both India and Pakistan, among other nations, to ban hunting the species.

However, Pakistan has continued to issue special permits to prominent hunters from Gulf countries, presumably due to the money such hunting trips bring to local economies.

Arab royals have traditionally hunted the houbara bustard for its meat, which, according to myth, has aphrodisiac properties.

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