CAIRO: A total of 142 rare falcons poached from Elba Natural Reserve in the Halaib Triangle, in the south-eastern desert, were seized alive in a truck Saturday, Al-Ahram Gate reported.
The birds, except for their heads, were wrapped in cloth to prevent them from flying. The prosecution decided to task the Reserves Authority to free the birds into their environment in Elba Natural Reserve, according to Youm7.
A lanner falcon, which is one kind of the seized falcons, can be sold for $50,000 to $100,000, Al-Ahram quoted Ahmed Ghallab, a researcher at the Red Sea Reserves Authority as saying.
Reports of two people hunting falcons in the reserve prompted the police to install checkpoints in the area in coordination with the Natural Reserves Authority. The truck was searched at a checkpoint in Marsa Alam, a city that overlooks the Red Sea south of the country, according to Al-Ahram Gate.
A driver and a manual laborer on board of the truck were arrested, and said they were heading to Sharqia, a governorate in the Egyptian Nile Delta, Youm7 reported.
Investigations say that indigenous groups in the mountains hunt falcons and sell them to other Egyptians interested in this kind of business, and lanner falcons are sometimes sold to be used as prey to hunt larger falcons, Youm7 reported.