Italian man hunts blue sheep in Hunza

GILGIT: An Italian man has hunted a blue sheep with 32-inch-long horns in the wildlife conservatory at Gojal valley of Hunza-Nagar district near the Pak-China border.

54ff6e817fb4bBoieti Gian Carlo hunted the sheep in Khunjrab Village Organisation’s (KVO’s) wildlife conservatory at Sukhterabad Nullah, some 20 kilometers from Pak-China border on Sunday, the organisation’s secretary information Rahimullah Baig told NNP on Tuesday.

He said that the blue sheep was the Pakistan’s longest and the world’s second longest animal.

He said the Italian hunter had secured hunting permit paying 8,000 US dollars to the Gilgit-Baltistan wildlife department.

Blue sheep is a rare species, found only in Nepal and Pakistan.

He said that the foreign hunter spent three days in KVO’s wildlife conservatory looking for the blue sheep.

Mr Baig said that hunter was accompanied by his local guide, Mahboob Ali, local community members and officials of GB wildlife department to ensure that the hunt was carried out according to the rules. “The hunter fired a single gunshot at the blue sheep from a distance of 275 meters as was allowed under the law.”

According to rules, only one shot at the animal is allowed, and the second attempt would render the permit invalid.

The KVO official said 80 per cent of the income from the sale of hunting permits went to the local community to be spent on development of wildlife in their respective areas. Twenty per cent of the amount would go to the government exchequer, he explained.

In the KVO wildlife reserve live 30 snow leopards and other wildlife species.

Ghulam Mohammad, conservator at GB parks and wildlife department, said that Gilgit-Baltistan was home to rare species, including the Marco-Polo sheep, ibex, markhor, urial, blue sheep, lynx, snow leopard, brown and black bears, wolf, fox, marmote, chakor and Ram chakor.

The official said that Gilgit-Baltistan wildlife management board had auctioned in December last year 70 hunting permits for trophy hunting programme for 2014-15, which included 12 permits for markhors, 50 for ibex and eight for blue sheep, respectively.

The hunting season begins in November and ends in April.

Ghulam Mohammad said the trophy hunting quota was created on the basis of annual surveys conducted by the wildlife experts.

He said that the wildlife department issued hunting permits for only the aged animals.