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Sixteen falcons recovered, court orders to free birds.

MULTAN -- A local court Wednesday ordered to release 16 falcons in the air to enable them enjoy their natural habitat, officials said.

The Customs Intelligence and Wildlife department jointly foiled a bid to illegally transport 16 falcons from Dera Ismail Khan to Karachi by intercepting a bus at Pul Qambar near Taunsa Barrage, some 45 kilometres away from Dera Ghazi Khan city.

"We recovered 16 boxes, each containing a falcon" late on Tuesday night, Assistant Director Wildlife Multan Mian Muhammad Abbas told.

The joint raid was conducted on information conveyed by the Customs Intelligence and the conductor of the coach Badarul Islam of Peshawar was also arrested.

The conductor said the coach was in Dera Ismail Khan when an unknown man asked him to transport pigeons confined in 16 boxes to Karachi and offered Rs 1,000 fare per box which he had accepted.

The driver stated he was unaware of the presence of boxes.

The conductor was taken into custody and the bus was allowed to leave for its destination- Karachi.

The wildlife official said falcons, usually found in peaceful mountainous areas, were facing a threat of extinction. Their transportation, hunting or catching was banned to ensure they could increase their population in natural atmosphere.

The conductor was produced before Special Judicial Magistrate Rubina Kausar by the wildlife officials. The court imposed Rs 5,000 fine on the conductor and ordered that the birds be released to enable them enjoy their natural habitat.

The magistrate said she would herself witness the release of birds. The officials said the birds would be released in the air today evening in the presence of Commissioner Syed Ali Murtaza.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Sep 26, 2013
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