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DERA GHAZI KHAN, March 19: Poachers have made Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts a killing field for migratory cranes without any fear of law, Dawn has learnt.

At least four poacher teams are engaged in the prohibited exercise in both districts with the alleged connivance of Wildlife Department officials.

Crane is regarded the goddess of love between the couple as the bird always lives in couple. When separated, both the male and the female die, it is believed.

Sources say a team, led by Sarwar Pathan and Ajab Khan, and comprising dozens of poachers has entrapped hundreds of the cranes and later put them for sale. Sources say dozens of cranes are being caught every day in Kot Janan and Dargari. The buyers use the bird as a pet.

The Wildlife Department allegedly helps the poachers set up hunting camps and shifting of the bird to safer places.One wildlife official seeking anonymity said the poachers had the support of senior officers of the department. Crane has a market value among the bird lovers who use it as pet.

The unchecked poaching has affected the ecology of the area. The bird arrives here in the early months of winter and leave for Siberia in the early months of spring.