After a video of a deer hunt in Sindh surfaced on social media platforms, the wildlife department decided to conduct an inquiry into the matter on Thursday.
According to a notification issued by the department, a three-member team has been constituted to investigate “the hunting of two Chinkara deer by one named Antesaruddin, reportedly a resident of Karachi.”
The team consists of game officer Ashfaque Ali Memon, inspector Naeem Muhammad Khan and inspector Muhammad Azeem Kachelo and will report to department within 10 days.
Hunting Chinkaras has been banned in Pakistan. But according to a Dawn report by Jamal Shahid published last year, “private as well as some registered trophy hunting operators” are offering animals that are currently protected under law to trophy hunters.
Quoting a source in WWF, Shahid writes that since the “last decade, outfitters have been arranging to kill the nilgai, Indian hog deer or para, black bucks or Indian antelopes, chinkara or India gazelle.” These are then exported illegally despite the fact that no export permits have ever been issued for these animals.
No export permits have ever been issued for chinkara, hog deer, Asian wildcat, jackal, black bucks or the nilgai,” a source in the Ministry of Climate Change said as quoted by Dawn.
However, social media has played an important role in curbing the illegal hunting of the chinkara or the Indian gazelle. Writing in Arab News, Zulfiqar Kunbhar reports that in Thar, an almost 75 percent decrease in poaching was witnessed between 2019 and 2020” due to “diligent social media reporting by dozens of devoted conservationists.”
Thankfully this has helped the declining chinkara population to bounce back.