By ARAB NEWS
RIYADH: Some people, especially hunters, are basically trophy hunters with fixation of killing rare animals.
In the Kingdom, many of these hunters are fond of killing Arabian wolf, a rare species facing extinction. In addition, after making the kill, they proudly display their trophies (the wolves) — even displaying their (wolves) bodies in public places.
Reports of such kills are increasingly being highlighted in Saudi newspapers, with stories about attacks and killings of wolves — the latest of which being in Aqlat Al-Sokhour.
A Saudi citizen killed a wild wolf when it attacked his friend while they were on a desert-hunting trip. His friend was injured in the attack, but both managed to subdue the wild animal.
The Arabian wolf has etched itself in the Arabian folklore and several folk songs, fables and narrations highlight the wolf’s extreme nature — virtuous with their strong bond of friendship as well as its vile action of killing man and animals. The folklore also stress on it being a bad omen, according to a report in Al-Eqtisadiah business daily.
The Arabian wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf that was once found throughout the Arabian Peninsula, but now only lives in some small pockets —especially the mountainous regions — of the Kingdom.
They attack and eat any domestic animal up to the size of a goat. As a result, farmers do not hesitate to shoot, poison, or trap them whenever there is a need for it. Hunters also kill wolves when they come across it during their trip to remote desert areas. As a symbol of their so-called ‘heroic act,’ they exhibit its body at public places or hang them from electric posts or signboards.
Wildlife advocates are of the view that killing wolf is a grave matter and that Arabian wolf should be protected at any cost. They say that killing the wolves could be done only on rare occasions — in self-defense.
Muhammad Al-Shawi, a desert enthusiast, said that he saw wolves at a number of spots during his trips. “I have never harmed them in view of the fact that they are rare species. Most of the wolves in the Kingdom live in mountainous regions of Najd and Tabuk,” he said, adding that he has seen bodies of wolves on display on signboards at numerous places.