The Municipality of Surat Obadiah has just closed a highly known restaurant and imposed a monetary fine of SAR 10,000 to the owner of the restaurant. The crime of the restaurant was serving hyena meat to its customers. During a surprise inspection of the restaurant, the inspectors found that the restaurant which is located on the Najran – Khamees Mushait Road had been closed and was being guarded by a worker of the restaurant where as the kitchen was busy cooking meals. The inspection team immediately cordoned off the area near the restaurant and when they entered the restaurant they found that the meat that was being cooked was that of a hyena. The meat was confiscated immediately.[irp]
Said Bin Saleh, a local resident has stated that he had been once invited to a wedding reception and there too hyena meat had been served. He stated that he was very surprised to see how people were enjoying the hyena meat. Abdul Rahman Al Qahtani has stated that he personally likes the hyena meat, as it has a unique and different taste in comparison to the other “regular” meat or chicken. He also stated that it has a unique smell as well; he added that the effects of hyena meat are above and beyond that of all famous stimulants.
Khalid Al Qahtani, a veterinary doctor, stated that the meat of hyenas is in huge demand. He added that hyena meat is currently more expensive than that of a deer. One kilogram of the meat of a hyena will sell for around SAR 200 or even more, depending on the age of the animal it has been taken from. He also added that no harmful effects of benefits to health have been scientifically proven to exist in the hyena meat.
A report which had been brought forward by the times had stated that the hyenas are now facing the threat of extinction since the people across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have now developed a liking to the taste of this hyena meat. Back in 2008, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature had listed the striped hyena as being nearly threatened as the total population of the species is estimated to be fewer than 10,000.
The consumption of Hyena Meat had also been permitted by the Al Shabaab militants in the southern regions of Somalia back in August. A resident of the Kismayo area had spoken to Hiiran Online and stated that ever since it had been approved, the restaurants have started to sell them.[irp]
This has, in turn, caused such a great price hike for the hyena meat that it has now become a delicacy for the wealthy people. Hyena meat is also commonly consumed in certain areas of Iran as well as Pakistan, where it is also considered Halal. The director of the Wildlife Research Center in Taif, Ahmad Al Bouq has stated to the media that the threat faced by the hyenas is a dire one indeed.
Source: Arab News