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American hunts huge markhor in Chitral

CHITRAL: An American trophy hunter has hunted a huge markhor in Chitral.

Subdivisional officer of the wildlife department Irshad Ahmed said Geff Lee Demaske had obtained the hunting permit from the wildlife department for Rs10.15 million before hunting the markhor. He said the largest markhor hunted in the conservancy was 51cm high and that it was killed by a German national three years ago.

Mr. Irshad said after reaching Chitral, the American hunter spent a day in the conservancy to choose a trophy size markhor before marking a nine-year-old animal for hunting. “After locating the marked markhor from a distance of 430 meters, he fired gunshots at it with his 7mm Remington rifle. “The gunshots pierced through the animal’s body making it fall down instantly,” he said.

The SDO said the firing range was ‘not comfortable’ and that there was every chance of the bullets missing the target but the hunter successfully got the animal down. He said two months ago, one of the trophy-size markhors in the conservancy was poached by people from the nearby Kuju village, who were later arrested and were booked under the law. Mr. Irshad said keeping in view the strength of markhors in a certain conservancy, the wildlife department auctioned two of them every year in Chitral district.

“The successful bidder gets the hunting permit. The value of the highest bid last time was Rs10.15 million,” he said. The SDO said 80 per cent of the income generated by the hunting permit fee went to the local community through the respective village conservation committees.

He said the wildlife department was increasing the population of markhor, which was on the verge of extinction in 1970s, while the current population of the animal in different conservancies of the district was 3,400.–Dawn

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