Falcon eggs trail cold...
14th August 2006
Gulf Daily News
A TOP veterinarian yesterday dismissed reports that Bahrain could be among destinations for 100 peregrine falcon eggs stolen in Scotland. The eggs of the birds, which are almost extinct in Scotland, can fetch up to £300,000 (BD216,750) and were stolen by gangs who sell them to Gulf falconers, according to a report in the UK's Sunday Mail.
The report named Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as possible destinations, but Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve veterinary section head, Mohammed Aladin Ashour, said Bahrain would not be a good location for breeding the birds.
He said that even the few people who own them in Bahrain take them to other larger countries to practise the sport of falconry.
"Falcons are trained here, but breeding them requires large areas of land that is not readily available in Bahrain," he said.
"Falconers in Bahrain usually take their birds to hunting grounds in countries like Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Iran to practise falconry.
"Breeding falcons is expensive and requires large areas of land, which is not freely available here. If you released them here they could run into wire fences and other dangers very easily.
"Without large areas of land and the proper facilities, such as towers, baby falcons may never be able to learn how to fly properly."
He added that authorities are very strict regarding the entry of animals and birds, including eggs, into the country and that it would be highly unlikely that the birds would be smuggled in.
Mr Ashour added that those who practise falconry are also wealthy enough to be able to afford the birds through legal means.
A national survey of peregrines in Scotland carried out 15 years ago recorded 625 breeding pairs, but numbers have reportedly plummeted since.
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