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Another markhor falls to greed

CHITRAL, Feb 20: A British national hunted an eight-year-old Kashmir markhor in the Toshi Shasha game reserve on Thursday for which he had obtained a hunting permit from the wildlife department paying 100,000 US dollars. 

The range officer of wildlife division Chitral, Irshad Ahmed said the British national Mclean Alexander had arrived here the other day along with his team of two.

He said that this was the second trophy hunting of markhor during the current season as a Russian hunter had hunted a markhor of same size in Gahirate last month. Narrating the details of hunting, the secretary of Al-Burhan village conservation committee (VCC) Shahzada Amir Hasanatuddin alias Shahzada Gul said using his Magnum 300 rifle, the British hunter fired as many six shots at the animal which offered a vehement resistance.

He said a trophy hunter spends a number of days in searching a markhor of maximum size in a conservancy as allowed per hunting rules and the help was extended to the hunter by the activists of his VCC in the searching process. He said that each horn of the hunted markhor was measured to be 42 inches for which he carried out search for two days in the pasture.

Mr. Gul said that the population of the once endangered species has crossed the figure of one thousand in the conservancy due to the involvement of the community in the conservation process who have been organized into VCC by the wildlife department. Eighty percent of the hunting permit fee goes to the local community who they used for their collective development through their VCC, he said. He said that the hunter has left for Arkari valley to hunt a Himalayan ibex there.–Zahiruddin

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