Playing with Iranian predatory birds is among the most popular entertainments among Arab sheikhs, costing them millions of dollars.
Manager of the Hunt and Prey Office at Iran’s Department of Environment, Ali Teymouri, referred to the smuggling of Iranian raptors to other countries, especially the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and said playing with these birds is among the most popular amusements of the Arab sheikhs.
“Due to its closeness to these countries, Iran has turned into a profitable hub for bird smugglers particularly in the southern provinces of Hormozgan, Khuzestan, and Fars which are home to these types of birds,” he was quoted as saying in a Farsi report by the Young Journalists Club (YJC).
Predatory birds include vultures, hawks and eagles. During September and November, these birds are seen in the Iranian sky and turn it into a great scene for birdwatching. However, bird hunters ambush to hunt these birds and sell them to the smugglers in return for small amounts of Arabic money.
Referring to the hunting bird trade in the Persian Gulf market, Teymouri said the trade dates back to a long time ago. “There is no doubt that an external network of bird smugglers is active in this trade in Iran. This means either the hunters or the smugglers are foreign nationals,” he said.
Raptors are among the unique symbols of the Iranian nature. Many believe that this is the officials in charge who should step into the fray and put an end to this nasty smuggling by adopting legal mechanism.