Poachers attempt to smuggle endangered peregrine falcons out of Russia ‘as playthings of rich Arab sheikhs’Posted by Jim at Friday, November 06, 2015
21 October 2015 (The Siberian Times) – Border guards seize 14 birds, as FSB lead search for criminals behind cruelty.
The tethered peregrine falcons were hidden in two bags on a freight train bound from Russia to Kazakhstan, said border guards in Altai region. Shocking pictures show how the birds - the fastest flyers in the world - were kept after being seized at the Lokot crossing in Rubtsovsk.
The falcons, listed as endangered in the Russian Red Book, were confiscated and handed to the investigation department of the Altai customs. In a state of anabiosis - or temporary suspended animation - they survived their ordeal and are now in 'rehab' before being returned to the wild.
Mikhail Mikhailov, spokesman for the Border Guard Department of the FSB, said: 'We believe that the offenders tried to smuggle the birds initially to Kazakhstan in order to sell them later to Arab sheikhs, who use them in falconry.' [more]