A gang of 20 poachers with 20 dogs was intercepted by Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) in their attempt to hunt for endangered species in the Margalla Hills National Park

According to IWMB officials on Saturday night, more than 20 people entered the Margalla Hills Trail-III with hounds. The hunters had shown up in a Vigo vehicle, two Corolla cars, and white pickup full of hounds. According to the officials, guards and board officials intercepted them and forced them to flee.

According to IWMB officials, a case has been registered in Kohsar police station and further investigation was launched. Meanwhile, police have formed a team to identify the illegal hunters and their vehicles with the help of Islamabad Safe City cameras. The board officials told that they would not allow anyone to destroy the natural environment and biodiversity of Margalla Hills.

Hunting in the Margallas is banned under the Islamabad Wildlife Management Ordinance 1979 and Section 144. Conservationists say the animals likely drifted to the Margalla area – foothills of the Himalayan mountains – as it became heavily forested over the years. And they stayed on because they found prey, a stable environment and an ecosystem that could support them.

People living in villages around Margalla Hills National Park are disturbing wildlife habitats.

The increasing population pressures, cutting of trees for firewood, hunting of wild goats and jungle fowl and grazing of domestic animals may lead to human-animal conflicts, an official said.