A big game hunter has paid $150,000 to travel to Pakistan and kill a rare goat.
Bryan Harlan, from Texas, paid the hefty price to hunt down a markhor – an endangered spiral-horned goat which is the country’s national animal.
Mr Harlan shot the male markhor during the tourist expedition to the northern Himalayan region of Gilgit-Baltistan, accompanied by several hunting guides and hosts.
“It was an easy and close shot. I am pleased to take this trophy,” he told Pakistani television.
Several years ago conservationists were called upon to save the dwindling numbers of markhor, bringing an end to the hunting of them, The South China Morning Post reported.
However the government moved to allow limited numbers of tourists to hunt markhor, limited to 12 kills per season.
About 80 per cent of funds raised from the hunts is distributed between impoverished local residents within the mountainous regions where the goats live.
Mr Harlan’s kill has received strong backlash online after images emerged of him posing with the deceased goat.
“To kill such a magnificent animal for sport is sickening,” one person said.
“I think this is sad on so many levels,” another said.
Yet the hunter said the kill was responsible and all above board.
“This is a perfect example of hunters and villagers coming together for a common goal of game conservation,” he said.
Mr Harlan also said his visit to the country along others should boost tourism in the country, with visitor numbers slowly diminishing in the country since 9/11, according to local hunters in the region.