ISLAMABAD:The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and Punjab Wildlife Department (PWD), during an intelligence based information raid, have confiscated over a dozen of illegally kept pelts of endangered wildlife species from a taxidermist based in Sadiqabad area of Rawalpindi.
The operation was launched after local sources of the Board informed that a local leopard was being hunted illegally in the Margalla Hills National Park whose hide was available with a taxidermist based in the adjoining city of Rawalpindi, an IWMB official told reporter while elaborating the successful raid.
He said the taxidermist was based in Khanna Pul area falling in the vicinity of Sadiqabad and was working for a long time selling the stuffed skins of wildlife species.
The IWMB official told that after gathering proper details the Punjab Wildlife Department was approached to facilitate the action against the violators as the area was falling under their jurisdiction.
It was underground business being carried out in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad where the poachers and hunters after illegal hunting of wild animals were using previous hides to make taxidermies, he added.
To a question, he said a taxidermist itself could not be held involved in poaching and hunting of wildlife species as per the law rather he had his expertise in preserving the pelts of the species which the poachers utilize for their purpose and business.
He added that the initiative was launched to discourage the illegal and unregistered taxidermy of wildlife species that were banned or declared endangered by the Wildlife Departments of the respective provinces.
“All taxidermists will be registered with their respective Wildlife Departments to allow them a controlled practice of preserving the pelts of only those wild animals whose proper record and authorized status for hunting or source to be provided by its possessor,” the IWMB official mentioned.
A legal provision to hold such regulation in the federal capital was also underway in the amendment of Islamabad Wildlife Act which was in the process, he said.
While mentioning the details of illegally possessed pelts of wildlife animals confiscated from the taxidermist, he added that four hides of Leopard, one of Tiger, one of Deer, one of Punjab Urial, one of Chinkara Deer, one of Cheetal or spotted deer, one of Nilgai or the biggest Asian antelope, one of Ibex, one of Puma, one pelt of Para or hog deer, one Ibex trophy, one Markhor trophy, one pelt of Golden pheasant and one Chakor hide were recovered from the location during the raid.
Taxidermy was the art to preserve the skin or pelt of a wildlife animal or mount it in its living condition which was an old practice used to preserve wild animals for information, education, research, ornamental and decoration purposes.