A member of an endangered species has died at the hands of a wealthy trophy hunter.
This time, the victim was a rare Astor markhor mountain goat, the national animal of Pakistan. American trophy hunter Bryan Kinsel Harlan paid $110,000 to gun down the animal, who had been sitting calmly next to one of his companions in Pakistan’s northern Himalayan region. Harlan can be seen posing next to the dead animal in a now widely-shared photo.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 12, 2019
Harlan was quick to spout the hunters’ favorite line about “conservation,” but killing an animal to conserve the species is as useful as selling cigarettes to cure lung cancer. As of 2011, there were only about 2,500 markhors remaining in the region. There are likely even fewer now. They are threatened by deforestation, military activities, and poaching, in addition to trophy hunters. If Harlan was genuinely interested in “conservation” of the species, he would spend his $110,000 to help secure a protected sanctuary for the animals—not blast them away for pleasure.
As reported by CNN, trophy hunting’s purported economic benefits to surrounding communities have been “found to be exaggerated or practically non-existent.”
It’s time to stop trophy hunters and protect endangered wildlife.
A few years ago, Botswana rightfully banned the coward’s pastime of trophy hunting and the country’s anti-poaching unit was the best in the region—if not the world. Members of the armed unit patrolled elephants’ habitats, while the country’s military was mobilized throughout the region, tasked with preventing poaching. Last year, a new government took power, and it demilitarized the anti-poaching unit shortly after taking office. Since, nearly 90 elephants in Botswana have been killed for their tusks.
Please let Botswana’s President Masisi know how strongly you feel about protecting Botswana’s wildlife.