The markhor or Ibex, also known as the screw horn goat, is Pakistan’s national animal. The wild goat is an endangered species. It can be found in Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral, Kalash Valley and Hunza among other northern parts of the country.
Although hunting the markhor is illegal in Pakistan, the government has introduced a scheme that makes the hunt legal. The scheme is known as trophy hunting.
A hunting trophy license is issued after a proper auction by Peshawar’s wildlife department. The highest bidder is then given a permit to hunt one markhor.
According to the wildlife department spokesperson, the life of a markhor is between 10 and 12 years.
Annually, four hunting trophy licences are issued for markhor hunting and 80% of the money collected is distributed among the local community, while 20% is kept by the wildlife department.