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Ibex hunting in Upper Chitral draws ire of JUI leader

CHITRAL: Ibex hunting in different areas such as Zewargol in Upper Chitral has drawn ire of a local JUI leader for the wildlife department.

In a statement, local leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) Muhammad Said Khan Lal, who is also former tehsil councilor and ex-police official, said ibex were very precious wildlife but the department concerned did not take proper steps for its conservation.

He alleged that the District Forest Officer (DFO) wildlife was informed on time about the illegal ibex hunting at Zewar Gol.

He said the official then sent a range officer but the officer did not take action against the illegal hunters and wasted time on issuing permits to the hunters of pigeons and others.

Ibex, he added, had become an endangered species and it was the time the wildlife department to come forward and conserve the birds.

Ibex is found mostly in Upper Chitral and is a precious wildlife. In the recent past, the population of ibex has increased due to monitoring by watchers of wildlife. Due to heavy snowfall in the winter, herds of ibex have been seen descending towards many villages in Yarkhun valley of Upper Chitral.

But in the summer people go up into high mountains in search of ibex and sometimes illegally hunt the mountain goat.

Recently, a man was arrested and fined Rs0.4 million for hunting a baby ibex in Ujnu Gol of Torkhow valley (picture above).

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