American trophy hunter under fire after allegedly paying $110k to kill rare goat
An American trophy hunter is facing backlash after reportedly paying $110,000 to kill a rare goat in Pakistan.
Footage emerged on Tuesday of Bryan Kinsel Harlan, a banking executive from Plano, Texas, shooting a male Astore markhor, also known as a screw-horn goat due to the creature's most distinctive feature.
After killing the markhor, which is the national animal of Pakistan, Harlan can be seen high-fiving his local hunting guides before pulling the goat up by its massive horns and posing for photos.
"It was an easy and close shot and I am pleased to take this trophy," Harlan told the Pakistani newspaper DAWN.
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DAWN reports that Harlan shelled out a record $110,000 USD to secure a permit to kill the goat, the highest permit fee ever paid in the country.
But as pleased as the Texas-native may have been with the expedition, photos of Harlan and the slain goat have sparked outrage on social media, with people in both Pakistan and the United States calling to ban the practice of trophy hunting altogether.
"Goats are gentle individuals, NOT TROPHIES," tweeted animal rights group PETA.
However, despite all the backlash, there may be a silver lining to the controversial practice.
The Washington Post reports that funding from trophy hunting markhors in Pakistan has actually helped grow the markhor population over the past decade.
In 2011, the wild markhor population had dwindled down to about 2,500 across Pakistan, India and Afghanistan due to uncontrolled local poaching and deforestation.
To combat the depletion, Pakistan banned all local hunting of the goats and started selling pricey permits to allow a small number of foreign trophy hunters to shoot 12 male markhors per season in strictly designated areas. The money from the permits was then funneled back into efforts to conserve the species and help support the surrounding communities.
As a result, the markhor population grew enough that by 2015, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature upgraded the species from endangered to "near-threatened."
Harlan was the third American to kill a markhor in Pakistan this year, according to DAWN.
On Jan. 16, John Amistoso paid $100,000 USD to hunt one of the creatures and on Jan. 21, Dianda Christopher Anthony paid $105,000 USD for the same experience.