One Rich Oil Prince as an Environmental Disaster……


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“A Saudi Arabian prince did some serious damage on a recent hunting expedition, managing during a 21-day killing spree to put a vulnerable species a few thousand deaths closer to extinction. The Saudi royal’s trip to Chagai, Balochistan this past January landed him 1,977 rare houbara bustards, reports Dawn, Pakistan’s English-language newspaper. Other members of his party managed to bag 123 more. According to a report prepared by the Balochistan Forest and Wildlife Department – ”Visit of Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud regarding hunting of houbara bustard” — “the prince hunted the birds for 15 days in the reserved and protected areas, poached birds in other areas for six days and took rest for two days.” Pakistan’s come under fire for issuing special permits to Arab rulers allowing them to hunt the birds, which are off-limits to Pakistani citizens……………..”

Just a few decades ago, they did not need to travel that far for hunting hubara and other birds and animals. The Gulf and Peninsula region had an abundance, given the sparse population.

The princes and potentates have long since depleted the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf from many of its once-native birds and animals. These native creatures (I don’t mean the potentates) became rare, and some of them have vanished from the region. Then the potentates started seeking easier hunting grounds.

Years ago they started on the fauna of the Indian Subcontinent (mainly Pakistan and to a lesser extent Bangladesh) and North Africa (mainly Morocco). This has gone on since the days of the military dictator Zia Ulhaq (before he was incinerated in a helicopter “accident”). This has continued under other regimes, especially the Sharif brothers (Nawaz and Whatishisname) who seem to alternate power with the Bhuttos and have been very close to the Al Saud princes. 
The princes have not yet acquired the East Asian craze for Rhino horns or elephant butts as alleged aphrodisiacs. Apparently not yet.