An American trophy hunter smiled after he shot a rare mountain goat in Islamabad, Pakistan last week. The beautiful goat, with the huge spiral horns was dead – the man who killed it was Bryan Kinsel Harlan, a wealthy hunter, from Plano, Texas.
According to the Dallas News, the Dallas based mortgage bank executive paid $110,000 to kill the rare mountain goat while on a tourist expedition. When the news was published in Pakistani publications, social media erupted into severe backlash against both the hunter and the lack of a legal ban against hunting the markhor (Capra falconeri) – the official national animal. Most people suggested that tourists should be taking photos of the animals rather than shooting them.
So why are Americans allowed to pay enormous sums of money to kill the long horned markhors? Harlan’s latest kill brings the number of rare goats killed as trophies to three. Pakistani officials rationalize that the hunting and killing the goats have saved them from extinction even though their populations have continued to decrease. The animals, which thrived in the Himalayan ranges, have been the victims of poaching, deforestation and a host of unregulated hunting.
Harlan sees himself as promoting conservation along with his hunting expedition to add to his “collection.”
There still exist sanctuaries and for years Pakistan banned local hunting except granting “foreign” hunters 12 male goat shoots per season. The funds were designated to go to the poor areas and give them most of the proceeds.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service reclassified the markhors as “threatened” rather than endangered, which now allows American hunters to bring home their trophies of the horns which can grow up to five feet.
Pakistan has a low rating for caring for their animals. Public zoos have lost zebras, lion cubs and other animals due to disease and neglect.
In a disturbing video posted on Facebook, Harlan welcomes other American hunters to follow him. He “high-fives” with guides while pulling the goat up by its horns.
“It was an easy and close shot and I am pleased to take this trophy,” Harlan wrote.
It is estimated that are 5,700 of the species left globally.