As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Convoy of Qatari royal hunting rare bird attacked in southwestern Pakistan

Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:3PM

A Qatari royal family member on an expedition to hunt rare birds using falcons has come under attack by a group of villagers in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan, officials say.

Muhammad Yasar, a local Pakistani official, said on Monday that three security guards were wounded after a group of villagers brandishing guns and knives attacked the convoy of a Qatari royal family member on Sunday evening in the Musakhel district of the troubled province.

"A case has been registered against 25 people," Yasar said.

Arab sheikhs regularly travel to Pakistan to hunt the houbara bustards using falcons.

Meanwhile, a Qatari official involved in the sport of falconry confirmed the assault by a large group of men on the convoy of hunters, which included a royal family member. He, however, declined to identify the individual.

"Qatari hunters apply and pay for government hunting permits and donate to local communities and wildlife conservation," the Qatari official said, adding, "Unfortunately there have been attacks led by armed groups."

The Pakistani government began issuing permits to houbara hunters for royals from the Persian Gulf countries in the 1970s. The move was initially seen as a way to forge diplomatic ties with them after rival India imposed a ban on hunting the birds.

In 2014, a Saudi prince illegally hunted more than 2,000 houbara bustards, which are protected under Pakistani law. The Saudi prince went on a hunting spree for rare birds in province of Balochistan.


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