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Dozens Of Saiga Antelope Shot Dead In Kazakhstan


Saiga antelopes (file photo)

Authorities in Kazakhstan say dozens of endangered saiga antelopes were killed in the northern Aqmola region on June 25.

Previous reports said 14 carcasses with no obvious signs of foul play had been found in the area.

However, Baqytbek Duisekeev of Kazakhstan's Environment and Water Resources Ministry later told reporters that up to 73 saiga had been found shot dead and their horns cut off.

Saiga horns are used in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine.

In 2012, nearly 1,000 intact bodies of saiga antelopes were found in Kazakhstan’s northern Qostanai region.

Environmental activists blamed highly toxic fuel that is spread around the area in crashes of Russian Proton rockets launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

That theory has never been confirmed by officials.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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