Kazakhstan: Saiga's Fortunes Further Dashed by Poachers
As if Kazakhstan’s beleaguered saiga antelope population doesn’t have enough to cope with already, hunters are still trying to kill them for their horns.
A moratorium on hunting the animal is in place until 2021, but that has not deterred the most determined poachers.
Officials say that they have registered 21 saiga poaching cases this year in the southern Kyzylorda region alone, according to the state-run 24.kz television station.
Overall, 309 cases of illegal hunting were recorded in the region this year.
In the most recent case, police stopped a Toyota Land Cruiser in an area 20 kilometers from the Kumkol oil field and found the bodies of several saiga antelope in the trunk.
“During the search of the car, five bodies of saiga were found — horns, heads. Also unregistered 12-gauge shotguns, about 100 rounds of ammunition, a saw and a knife, which were seized as evidence,” Kyzylorda province police press officers Guljahan Kairbergenova told 24.kz. Two residents of the village of Karaozen are facing criminal charges.
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