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Case of Dibeen’s missing deer referred to Anti-Corruption Commission

By Hana Namrouqa - Mar 29,2018 - Last updated at Mar 29,2018

AMMAN — The Ministry of Agriculture has referred the case of the disappearance of dozens of fallow deer from a fenced-off reserve in Jerash Governorate’s Dibeen Forest to the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission, a government official said on Thursday.

In mid-February, the ministry received information that the number of fallow deer in the reserve did not match the animal’s number on paper, the government official said, indicating that an administrative committee then started an investigation into the case.

“The committee carried out a 30-day investigation and gathered substantial information. The committee’s report showed that there should be some 300 fallow deer in the reserve, while the actual number stood at 200. This indicated that 100 had somehow disappeared,” the government official told The Jordan Times, noting that the ministry referred the case to the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission on March 23.

“An investigation is currently ongoing therefore, it is not possible to reveal more information,” the official highlighted.

The ministry set up the 160-dunnum reserve over a decade ago to protect fallow deer, categorised by the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as a species of “least concern”, according to the official.

The reserve is situated on a hilltop in Dibeen Forest Reserve, some 48km north of Amman.

The forest, which extends over 8.5sq.km of mountainous topography rich with pine and oak trees, is home to at least 17 threatened species, in addition to over a quarter of the butterfly species existing in the Kingdom. It also represents the driest place in the world in which Aleppo pines grow naturally.

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