Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia

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A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
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A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
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A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
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Updated 14 October 2020

Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia

  • The bird was sold on Tuesday for 650,000 Saudi riyals ($173,000)
  • Falconry is an important part of the cultural desert heritage of Arabs of Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A young falcon in Saudi Arabia has sold for more than $170,000, the most expensive sale ever of that type of bird and the costliest purchase so far at an annual 45-day auction of the hunting birds cherished in Gulf countries.
The bird was sold on Tuesday for 650,000 Saudi riyals ($173,000) by virtue of its unique characteristics and scarcity, the auction’s organizers, the Saudi Falcon Club, said in a statement.
The club said it was the most expensive sale ever globally for its type — a young Shaheen breed, a type of peregrine falcon.
Falconry is an important part of the cultural desert heritage of Arabs of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries going back thousands of years.
Falcons, whose flight speeds can exceed 300 km (186 miles) an hour, are recognized internationally as endangered. Countries have varying regulations governing their sale, capture, breeding and hunting activities.
The falcon, weighing 1.1 kg, was captured from the wild in Hafer Al-Batin, in north-east Saudi Arabia, the club said.
The auction from Oct. 3 — Nov. 15 is organized by the Saudi Falcon Club, founded in 2017 and supported by the government as a way to preserve and nurture this heritage activity.
Falcon owners in the Gulf, seeking hunting opportunities, commonly travel with their birds inside plane cabins to countries like Pakistan, Morocco and the central Asian region during colder months.


Black leopard mauls man who paid to have pictures taken

Updated 30 October 2020

Black leopard mauls man who paid to have pictures taken

DAVIE, Florida: A man was mauled by a captive black leopard in a backyard zoo in South Florida, wildlife officials said.
The man paid $150 for a “full contact experience” with the black leopard, which allowed him to play with it and take pictures, WPLG reported.
A report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the incident happened Aug. 31 in Davie, which is near Fort Lauderdale.
The agency charged the owner with allowing full contact with an extremely dangerous animal and was cited for maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition.
The owner runs a licensed animal sanctuary for rare and endangered animals at the home, WPLG reported.
The man was attacked as soon as he entered the leopard’s enclosure. The injuries were so severe that his scalp was “hanging from his head and his right ear was torn in half,” the report said.
He required multiple surgeries, according to the TV station.