Pakistan’s government banned local poachers from hunting the countries endangered markhor goats, as in 2011 the population reached a worrisome low of 2500. However, foreign trophy hunters, like Bryan Harlan, seem to be an exception.
He travelled across the world in order to explore Pakistan’s northern Himalayas and to trophy hunt an animal living there for $110,000. His actions have resulted in massive outrage.
Bryan Kinsel Harlan posed with Pakistan’s official national animal, his prized kill. According to The Independent, Harlan stated that it was an easy and close shot and that he is pleased to take that trophy. Harlan is the third American that visited Pakistan with an intention to kill a markhor.
There is a video of how this actually happened, and of course, there are people that are not pleased by what Harlan has done and believe this is not supposed to be happening to the markhor goat population.
Many were frustrated by seeing the posted photo, as well as the videos, and are wondering if there are not enough preventive laws surrounding this controversial and recreational hobby. On the other hand, Harlan is with the opinion of what he has done being required so that the ecosystem can be maintained.
US citizen #BryanHarlan who hunted an AstoreMarkhor few days ago at GB has said that Pakistan is more peaceful country than Mexico. if govt of Pak govt could put some investment in to tourism sector they could do great for this beautiful country.— Tanveer Ahmed (@Mountain_Man007) February 7, 2019
Thank you #BryanKinselHarlan pic.twitter.com/91rd3rjghZ
Sadly, due to deforestation, military encroachment, poaching, and unregulated trophy hunting, markhors have experienced a decrease in population in recent years. Regional authorities’ response to this was establishing five sanctuaries in India in order for the animals to live freely and breed.
However, according to Pakistan’s authorities, only paying customers like Harlan are allowed to hunt markhors, with a couple of rules: the animal has to be male; it must be hunted in a designated “community conservation area”, kills are not to exceed twelve individual goats.
Allegedly, around 80% of the resulting profits from trophy hunting goes to “isolated residents” that live in the animal’s habitat, and the rest is relayed to the government’s various wildlife agencies.
Four years ago, the classification for the markhor was changed from endangered to near-threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.