Saudi Prince's Safari Shot 2,100 Endangered Birds in 21 Days

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | April 23, 2014 | 1:26 PM EDT

Saudi Prince Fahd bin Sultan illegally shot 1,977 endangered birds while he was on safari, on a 21 day hunt in Balochistan forest, Pakistan earlier this year, reports Karachi-based Dawn newspaper. The party he was with shot an additional 123 birds, bringing the total to 2,100 poached birds.

The birds, known as houbara bustards, are on the brink of extinction and it is illegal to hunt them in Pakistan. The birds are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Pakistan's government issues special permits to Gulf states' royals which allows princes to shoot up to 100 houbara birds in 10 days, excluding reserved or protected areas. It seems the Prince ignored that stipulation, shooting on reserved and protected areas for 21 days in January.

Globalpost reports:

It's not known whether he'll face any punishment.

The prince and others like him are facing a growing backlash from Pakistanis and conservationists who warn the birds are on the brink of extinction.

After this year's killing season ended in early February, a high court in Lahore imposed an interim ban on the practice.

"If it's illegal for Pakistanis to kill these birds why should the Arab sheikhs be allowed to do it?" Tasneem Aslam, from Pakistan's ministry of foreign affairs, said in an interview with the Guardian in February.