Kazakhstan extends ban on hunting endangered antelope
ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Authorities have extended a ban on hunting the endangered saiga antelope in hopes of boosting the animal's dwindling numbers.
A government decree published Tuesday says the ban will remain in effect through 2020.
Conservation experts say the saiga population has plummeted from around 1 million in the mid-1990s to about 80,000.
Despite a 2001 ban, the distinctive bulbous-nosed animal continues to be poached for its horns, used as a component in traditional Chinese medicines.
Around 12,000 saiga, which are found mainly in western Kazakhstan, died last year of a mysterious disease.
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-- Associated Press
Photo: Saiga drink from a lake outside Almaty, Kazakhstan, in an undated photo. Credit: Anatoly Ustinenko / AFP/Getty Images