ISLAMABAD: Fines amounting to Rs50,000 were imposed on five people for illegally capturing and killing a hog deer and then proceeding to post its pictures on social media.

The hog deer was privately owned by someone under licence. The animal escaped into tall grass and disappeared while its owners were trying to feed it, said Punjab Wildlife Department District Wildlife Officer Rizwana Aziz.

“The case was reported to the wildlife department and announcements were made in mosques in Chauntra, Rawalpindi area, as search parties also returned empty handed,” Ms Aziz told Dawn.

However, two weeks later, the department came across videos of individuals killing and consuming animals and showing off images on social media, she added.

“Local police, our staff and other reliable sources were utilised. We were successful in tracing five culprits,” she said, adding that Rs10,000 was imposed on each of the accused under conservation rules.

While it is illegal to hunt hog deer after its population was declared vulnerable under laws protecting flora and fauna, animal lovers are allowed to keep them as pets under licence.

In another case, a wildlife official was beaten black and blue after confiscating partridges from someone in Rawalpindi.

“The angry owners of partridges chased our staff and got hold of one of our members and beat them for confiscating their prized possessions,” the official said.

The wildlife staff confiscated five partridges that were being entered into a contest.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2021

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