Oils extracted from the 'Dhab' or the spiny tailed lizard are believed to cure various ailments including muscular and joint pain, and is also believed to be an aphrodisiac. The spiny-tail lizard is hunted on a large scale in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh. An official with the Pakistan Wildlife Foundation, Waseem Ahmed, tells Dawn: “There is no reality in the benefits of the oil of spiny-tail lizard since its fats are no different from that of any other reptile or animal.”

A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab shows specimens to a customer at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab shows specimens to a customer at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab  waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab  waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab  waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab  waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab  waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP
A Pakistani vendor selling spiny tailed lizards known as dhab waits for customers at a market in Rawalpindi. -Photo by AFP

Comments (7) Closed


Atta ur Rehman
Oct 23, 2013 02:12pm

Beautiful creature...

Nasir
Oct 23, 2013 08:31pm

Can't believe it that superstitious people looking for cure in poor creatures. We human would do anything to save our selves from death

Roxana R
Oct 23, 2013 11:47pm

I hate to see such a wonderful creature hunted and slaughtered if it is not based on medical certainty. That would be tragic. Much like the hunting of rhinos for their horns for the "medicinal" cures they purportedly have, which in reality is non-existent. How many more species must become extinct before humans figure this out?

DiplomatOne
Oct 24, 2013 12:54am

You call it "dhab" ? We used to call it "sanda" (not "sunda" the male of cow species), when I was young. And its oil was believed to cause miracles to chronic diseases, or at least this is what the vendors claimed.

Shah
Oct 24, 2013 01:51pm

This horrible practise is wide spread in whole of Asia where different animals are hunted down for some "super human" benefits. Shameful!

Faraz
Oct 24, 2013 09:23pm

Ignorance of the people. Even if the lizard has the cure for my aliments, I could not prefer to get treated by killing some other creature...I would rather prefer to suffer

karim Mohammad Khan
Oct 25, 2013 03:07pm

@Atta ur Rehman: Recently I have been to Rawalpindi for an important piece of work. In Raja Bazar I saw these creatures lying near vendors. It shocked me that wild life is destroyed in the name of cure. Where are the champions and defenders of environment as they are paid to protect and preserve environment. Doctors should also discourages such humiliating practices.