The wildlife department has arrested four people on charges of poaching Suleman markhor in Shikarzai Takato area.
A team headed by a deputy conservator of the department made the arrest during a raid carried out on information provided by the Community for Wildlife Preservation.
“Two hunted markhors, a rifle, a knife, 19 cartridges and a telescope were seized from the suspects,” officials said, adding that the accused had been handed over to Levies personnel and an investigation was under way.
Balochistan has two species of markhor – Suleman and Chiltan. Suleman markhor is found in mountains of Zhob, Shirani, Ziarat and Takato, Quetta, while Chiltan markhor is found in the Chiltan mountain range of Quetta, Mastung and Kalat.
Local people, especially tribal elders, usually poach markhor due to which its population has decreased to an alarming level.
An employee of the wildlife department said that the poachers used to sell the skulls and skin of markhor in Karachi, from where they were smuggled abroad.
He alleged that conservators and other officials of the department facilitated political leaders, ministers, tribal elders and bureaucrats to illegally hunt markhor.