(MENAFN - Arab News) Authorities have arrested two suspects in the mass killing of desert lizards locally known as “dhab.”
prince bandar bin saud bin mohammed chairman of the saudi wildlife authority (wla) has said capture of two of the hunters in the central region was a result of cooperation between the authorities and “citizens who are dedicated in preserving the natural wealth of the country."
the wla and private organizations earlier issued appeals to the public for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of this “crime against biodiversity in the kingdom.”
police are investigating the suspects whose names have been withheld prince bandar said.
pictures of a pick-up truck full of dead lizards that had been widely shared on social media more than two weeks ago.
seasonal dhab hunting is allowed in the kingdom but netizens outraged by what has been dubbed a “massacre” are calling for stiff punishments.
wla spokesman ahmad al bouq said: “a person who fills the back of his car with these animals must be looked at differently because what he did was a crime. the punishments established by law are not severe enough for such a crime.”
belonging to the ‘agamidae uromastyx’ species the dhab lizard is a delicacy in saudi arabia and other parts of the arabian peninsula.
hunters find them in holes and crevices and employ various techniques to capture them including the use of guns.