The picture of the gazelles circulated on the Internet Image Credit: Sabq

Manama: Saudis have called for stringent action against poachers following the circulation on the social media of a picture showing three dead gazelles being transported in a vehicle.

The gazelles are believed to have been killed in the Bani Maaridh reserve in Najran in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen, local news site Sabq reported on Monday.

“This is totally irresponsible,” a blogger writing under the moniker “Jundi”, said. “The government has been spending millions of riyals to protect and nurture these gazelles and other animals in natural reserves. Yet there are people who do not seem to care. They should be punished severely,” Jundi said.

Riyadh01, a blogger, said that the poacher should be punished for his act.

“We have lost so many animals in Arabia because of the poaching,” he said. “The man who killed the gazelles obviously did not need their meat, but rather wanted to show off and posted the picture in social networks. He should be severely punished and his vehicle confiscated.”

Khalid said that a stricter surveillance of the natural reserves was needed.

“We should have 24-hour patrols to ensure there is no trespassing,” he said. “At the same time, those who are caught poaching in the reserves should be severely punished. There should be a zero tolerance policy.”

For Badawi, poaching is considered by some people as an act of heroism.

“It is unfortunate that some people have not reached a commendable level of awareness,” he said. “They think that they are acting in the name of virility and heroism, and lamentably fail to appreciate the significance of their environment and the need to preserve animals.”

However, Fafa 5000 said that people should be allowed to hunt and eat gazelles.

“It is their right, especially if they want to taste and eat gazelle meat. People should never worry about such concepts as extinction,” the blogger posted.

Abdullah said that hunting should be allowed for those keen on food.

“There is nothing wrong with hunting animals in order to acquire food,” he said. “I do object, however, to hunting just for fun or showing off.”