Young markhor slips out of Chitral Gol and runs into residential area

CHITRAL, March 28: A young markhor slipped out of the Chitral Gol National Park and reached Chitral town near the Governor Cottage on Friday morning.

A large number of people gathered around the animal and said stray dogs had tried to attack it. Later, officials from the wildlife department reached the spot to take custody of the markhor. When contacted, Imtiaz Hussain, the divisional forest officer (DFO) wildlife division Chitral, told ChitarlToday that it was a young – nine-month-old markhor – which had ran out of its habitat due to some predator activity. 

He said the population of markhor in the Chitral Gol National Park had increased significantly and as a result people of nearby areas usually came across the markhor straying into the human populated areas.

The DFO said the young markhor was disturbed and as a result his department officials gave it some tranquilizer and took it back to the national park and released it there. He said the report of dog attack on the markhor and injuring it was not correct.

The divisional forest officer of Chitral Gol National Park Division, Muhammad Buzurg, added that the coming out of the markhor was rare as the buffer zone between the park and the city was filled with human settlements. He said the population of markhor in the park had exceeded 1,200 heads which came to the lower altitude in search of food as the higher altitudes were covered with snow.

Another official of wildlife department said the markhor came to the human settlement when snow leopards made onslaught on their habitat in the early spring season. One of the spectators, Gamburi Shah, a resident of the nearby village in his late 80s, said in his childhood it was quite usual to see markhors running into villages of Chitral in the winter season from the nearby forest which now made the national park area.

He said the villagers did not hunt them but herded them back to their habitat with full protection.

Meanwhile, Mian Asif Ali Shah Kakakhel, one of the beneficiaries of the park and a local journalist, said the population of markhor was increasing in the park as no trophy hunting was allowed here. He suggested that like conservancies in different places of the district, trophy hunting should also be started in the national park which would benefit the 11 affected villages of the park on one side and the aging markhor on the other.

Mr. Kakakhel said there were tens of markhors in the park which were of trophy size which can bring additional income to the beneficiaries who have been organized into the eleven number of village conservation committees.—Waqar Ahmad & Zahiruddin

3 Replies to “Young markhor slips out of Chitral Gol and runs into residential area”

  1. Thank God it was saved otherwise it could been targeted by a very famous hunter who resides in the governor cottage fully equipped with a repeater. The gentleman is reportedly had not paid the rent of the official building where he has been residing since his posting to Chitral like a king. Is there any brave man who could ask him why he has not paid the bills, amounting to half million Pakistani rupees?

    1. When you could not mention the name of the famous hunter, why you are expecting from other people to ask him any question? Are You not that brave to ask that question yourself Mr.Wazir?

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