Texas big game hunter paid $110,000 to kill a rare Himalayan Markhor
- Bryan Harlan forked over the hefty fee for a license to hunt a wild Astore Markhor
- Video shows the Dallas banking executive shooting the screw-horn goat that lived in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of the northern Himalayas
- The kill prompted anger from animal rights activists on social media
- Pakistani officials and conservation groups say the hunting permit program has actually helped preserve the markhor population by de-incentivizing poaching
- 80 percent of the $110,000 permit fee goes to local communities and 20 percent goes to Pakistani wildlife agencies
A big game trophy hunter from Texas paid $110,000 to kill a rare Himalayan mountain goat as part of a conservation program that aims to reduce poaching of the once-endangered national animal of Pakistan.
Bryan Harlan forked over the hefty fee to obtain a license to hunt the wild Astore Markhor, a screw-horn goat that lives in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of the northern Himalayas.
A YouTube video from Harlan’s hunt shows the mortgage banking executive from Dallas firing at least one shot into a markhor, causing it to leap into the air.
The businessman then high fives another member of his hunting party before a group of men are seen dragging the kill up a mountain, where Harlan posed over its corpse.
‘It is an honor and privilege to be back in Pakistan,’ Harlan told a local TV station.
‘This is the third time I am in Pakistan. I have hunted almost all animals here. I saved the markhors for the last.’
Harlan and two other Americans paid to hunt three markhor goats in northern Pakistan, prompting anger from animal rights activists on social media.
However, Pakistani officials and conservation groups say the kills have actually saved the species from possible extinction by de-incentivizing poaching.
Efforts to preserve the markhor population were ramped up after 2011 reports indicated there were only 2,500 left in the wild due to deforestation, military actions, poaching for food and hunters seeking their horns, which can grow up to five feet long.
Pakistan made local hunting of the animals illegal but allows foreign hunters to kill 12 male goats per season with a permit. Each permit allows for one kill.
Eighty percent of the exorbitant fee goes to local communities near where the markhors live and the remaining 20 percent goes to Pakistani wildlife agencies, according to authorities.
By 2015, the population had increased to the point that the US classified the markhor as ‘threatened’ instead of ‘endangered’.