UPDATE: One animal lover has devised a petition to donate a lifetime supply of the male potency drug Viagra to the said prince. The Change.org document calls for 2,100 signatures (to match the number of houbara bustards killed for their alleged aphrodisiac qualities) "to provide his Royal Highness with the means to revive his libido".
A Saudi Arabian prince has reportedly hunted and killed 2,100 internationally protected houbara bustards in a 21-day hunting safari in Pakistan.
The alleged spree was reported by Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, which names the prince and cites a report as prepared by Jaffar Baloch, divisional forest officer of the Balochistan forest and wildlife department.
The prince himself is said to be responsible for the deaths of 1,977 birds, which conservationists warn are on the brink of extinction, while his entourage are claimed to have killed a further 123.
The birds are globally protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
But the newspaper notes the country’s federal government has issued special permits to Gulf States royals in the past.
These permits usually allow holders to hunt up to 100 houbara bustards in 10 days in allocated areas, excluding reserved and protected areas.
The prince reportedly violated the permit by conducting parts of his hunt in reserved and protected areas and allegedly killing hundreds more than the set limits.
The flesh of the bird, which migrates each winter from central Asia to Pakistan, is believed by some to have aphrodisiac qualities.
"Is there any more ridiculous reason to kill an animal?" Naeem Sadiq, a Karachi-based activist who petitioned the Lahore high court to ban the practice told The Guardian.
"If it's illegal for Pakistanis to kill these birds why should the Arab sheikhs be allowed to do it?"
After this year’s annual killing season ended in early February, Pakistan’s Lahore high court slapped an interim ban on hunting in Punjab province.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates the bird’s global population is at about 110,000 and declining at an annual rate of about 20 percent to 29 percent due to poaching and unregulated hunting.