GILGIT: An injured markhor, which had been rescued by locals three days ago in Gilgit, was released back into the wild on Friday after receiving the necessary treatment at the Gilgit-Baltistan wildlife department.
The three-year-old wounded animal was found injured in Jutial water channel. After rescuing the 'near threatened' animal, locals handed it over to the wildlife department in Gilgit, where he was provided medical treatment by the authorities.
“We have set it free in the presence of officials,” a G-B wildlife department official told The Express Tribune. “It had been given proper treatment for three days until it recovered completely,” he added.
Markhor, also known for its beautiful coiled horns, is a large Capra species native to Central Asia, Karakoram and the Himalayas. It is listed on the IUCN Red List as “near threatened”.
Spanish national hunts season’s third markhor in Gilgit-Baltistan
A Spanish citizen became the third foreign hunter of the season by hunting a Markhor on the outskirts of G-B earlier this month. He had paid a fee of $83,000 to purchase hunting permit auctioned by the G-B government last year.
Although hunting the markhor is illegal in Pakistan, the government has introduced a scheme which makes the hunt legal. The scheme is known as trophy hunting.
A hunting trophy license is issued after a proper auction by wildlife department. The highest bidder is then given a permit to hunt one markhor.
Annually, four hunting trophy licenses are issued for Markhor hunting and 80% of the money collected is distributed among the local community, whereas 20% is kept by the wildlife department.
Last month, the season’s first markhor was hunted in G-B’s Skardu town by an Italian hunter named Carlo Pasco who successfully hunted a flared-horned markhor from the Skardu conservation area.
In mid-December, Joe Lawrence Walreven, an American hunter, killed a Kashmir markhor in Lower Chitral as trophy hunting after obtaining permit from the wildlife department for $140,000.