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Canadian hunts highest-rated Astore markhor

GILGIT: A Canadian citizen hunted the highest-rated Astore markhor on Sunday, paying 58,000 US dollars to the Gilgit-Baltistan wildlife and parks department.

Conservator GB parks and wildlife department Yaqoob Ali told Dawn on Monday that Canadian citizen, Adam, had obtained permit for hunt of Astore markhor.

The foreign hunter with support of a Pakistani guide and Astore conservation community members hunted the animal in Dashkin community controlled hunting area in Astore on Sunday.

The hunter killed the animal in a single shot, he said, as only one shot with a specific gun was allowed for trophy hunting.

The hunted markhor’s horn measured 43 inches and it was an aged animal, said Mr Ali.

GB wildlife department had on Sept 21, last year had auctioned permits for the hunting of 113 rare species under the trophy hunting programme 2017-18, with the hunting of endangered Astor markhor fetching the highest licence fee of $100,000 in the history of trophy hunting.

Licences for hunting four Astor markhors, 14 blue sheep and 95 ibex were awarded.

Hunting permits for four Astor markhors were auctioned for $68,000 to $100,000, 14 blue sheep for $8,000 to $10,000 and 95 ibex for $3,600.

The hunting season in the region begins in November and ends in April.

According to the officials, the trophy hunting quota was created on the basis of annual surveys conducted by wildlife experts.

The GB parks and wildlife conservator said so far 45 Himalayan ibexes and six blue sheep had been hunted at various places in the current trophy hunting season.

The official said the previous trophy hunting programme fetched $248,000, adding trophy hunting fees for national, international and local hunters varied.

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