John Amistoso with the Astore Markhor he hunted in Bunji area of Gilgit. — Dawn
John Amistoso with the Astore Markhor he hunted in Bunji area of Gilgit. — Dawn

GILGIT: An American citizen, John Amistoso, hunted the highest-rated Astore Markhor in the community-controlled Bunji area of Gilgit on Sunday, according to GB wildlife and parks department.

The permit for Astore markhor had been obtained for US dollar 100,000.

While a Spanish citizen hunted Ibex in Passu area of upper Hunza on Saturday.

GB wildlife department had auctioned hunting permits for over 100 rare species under trophy hunting programme 2018 and 2019.

The licences for trophy hunting include four Astore Markhor, 14 blue sheep and 95 ibex.

The rate for hunting Astore Markhor was fixed at $100,000, blue sheep $8,000 and Rs100,000 for ibex.

So far 50 ibex, 12 blue sheep and one Astore markhor have been hunted across the region in the current season. Hunters from Denmark, Turkey, America and Spain hunted various species.

Official sources said top officials, judges and their guests also hunted rare species in various areas without obtaining any permit.

The trophy hunting quota is specified on the basis of annual surveys conducted by the wildlife experts. Hunting of only overage and oversize animals is allowed.

Eighty per cent of the amount received from the trophy hunting programme goes to local communities to be spent on education, health and other development projects.

The remaining 20 per cent money is deposited in the government exchequer.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2019