The houbara bustard is a rare bird, nearly-extinct, in fact. In 1997 there were only 500 in existence. In Pakistan it is protected in wildlife refuge areas. Hunting of the bird is extremely limited. In fact, locals are not allowed to hunt them at all. But exceptions are occasionally made, licenses granted to VIPs to allow them to hunt the bird, with some very restrictive provisos.
This was the case recently when a Saudi sheikh went a-hunting in Chagai, Pakistan. Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud was granted a license to hunt 100 of the birds, with the restriction that he not hunt within a particular bird sanctuary. Apparently the prince did not like being told what to do.
According to the Daily Mail, in a three-week span, Prince Fahd ventured into the very refuge zone he was supposed to stay away from and killed 2,000 birds. His aides killed over 300 themselves. And the people of Pakistan are looking at this as an outrage.
What would the prince want with 2,000 birds? Apparently the meat of these birds is considered an aphrodisiac by the royalty in Saudi Arabia.
In response to the prince's hunting of all these birds for their supposed aphrodisiac properties, a Change.org petition was started, asking that the prince be granted a lifetime supply of Viagra. The petition read, in part: Please save these magnificent birds by providing his Royal Highness with the means to revive his libido.
Pak Hunt:Saudi Prince Fahd Sultan shot 2,100 birds including Hubara Bustard endangered as it is termed as aphrodisiac pic.twitter.com/c8ygRSqRXW
— Iqbal Latif (@ilatif) April 22, 2014
In another dimension houbara bustards hunt Saudi princes for sport.
— the brown bandito (@curryman) April 21, 2014
The outrage over the callous disregard for the life of an endangered species is carrying over into the Western world, with political overtones mixed in with the huff.
At home, these Saudi princes hunt humans, in other countries they kill endangered species, export terrorism, but @BarackObama befriends them
— Fouad MZ (@FouadMZ) April 21, 2014
The birds are hunted with falcons, and the pursuit of them is a great sport for Saudi royalty.
Image via YouTube