Saudi environmental police have warned against hunting hyenas as part of the kingdom’s efforts to protect endangered wild creatures.
The Special Forces for Environmental Security (SFES) said in a post on its X account that hunting a hyena is punishable by fines of up to SR80,000.
SFES also urged members of the public to report incidents harming the environment or wildlife via designated hotlines.
Saudi Arabia has recently escalated efforts to combat ecological violations, reflecting its commitment to pro-environment initiatives.
In November, Saudi media reported that two Saudi citizens had been referred to public prosecution over the illegal trade in endangered wild animals, including lions
The suspects were arrested by SFES in the port city of Jeddah for trading in seven lions, three hyenas, two foxes, and a tiger on social media.
In a previous incident, the Saudi environmental police caught a citizen displaying endangered animals in violation of the kingdom’s environmental law. The man, arrested in the capital, Riyadh, displayed 25 wild animals without a licence, including 13 endangered species.
Displaying wildlife creatures, whether alive or dead and of unknown origin, is considered an offence under Saudi law, and the associated fines can reach up to SR10,000.
Furthermore, the display of endangered wildlife creatures carries a maximum jail term of 10 years, along with fines of up to SR30 million or a combination of both penalties.
The Saudi environmental system bans keeping wild animals. Violations are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of SR30 million. Saudi authorities warned against the illegal rearing of predators after a lion mauled its young keeper to death in Riyadh in April 2021.
The illegal purchase of wild animals is believed to have thrived due to social media, where they are marketed.