BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: Authorities in the picturesque Nagar Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan have rounded up two men for hunting an Ibex.
The illegal hunt, which isn’t the first in this season, has come in the midst of trophy hunting which is a government sponsored programme to safeguard illegal hunting of precious wildlife animals.
“Two locals Ali identified as Janan and Hasnain killed the Ibex at Bar valley in Nagar,” an official in the wildlife department told Express Tribune on Thursday.
“They have confessed to killing the animal illegally,” said the official.
According to the official, authorities have recovered head and horns of the dead animal from the accused.
The illegal hunting came to notice of the authorities after some wildlife guards followed the two men who were climbing a peak in the valley at mid night on Tuesday. “With guns in their hands, they appeared suspicious so authorities chased them and nab them in the end.”
After their arrest, the accused were produced before a forest magistrate who sent them to jail for a week initially.
The range forest officer at Hunza, Shabbir Baig confirmed the illegal hunting and said the fate of hunters would be in the next hearing which is due on Monday.
“The magistrate will decide the case on the basis of evidences,” Baig told Outpost.
He said besides head and horns, authorizes have also used dead bullets from the place of hunting.
Illegal hunting continues in parts of the region despite government’s efforts to overcome it. Trophy hunting is a programme which was first introduced in early 1990s in very Bar valley to channelizing hunting.
Every foreign hunter has to pay a fee to the Government of Pakistan in dollars, while Pakistanis pay in rupees to indulge in what is called “a sport of kings”.
With each hunt, 80% of the hunting fee goes to the local community, while the government spends the remaining 20% on projects meant for preserving forests and biodiversity.