Fewer than 6,000 markhors exist in the wild, most living among the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan
A TROPHY hunter is today under fire after reportedly forking out £75,000 to kill an extremely rare goat.
An American - named in reports as John Amistoso - paid a fortune to get the chance to gun down the markhor, also known as the “screw horn” goat.
Fewer than 6,000 of the creatures - which are the national animal of Pakistan - exist in the wild, most living among the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The markhor also features on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
However, that obviously didn't put off Amitoso who bagged his prize after officials in northern Pakistan issued permits for hunters to kill four markhors - known for their incredible horns.
“It was the season’s first hunt of Markhor,” Mujeeb Sardar, an official in the wildlife department of Gilgit-Baltistan told reporters.
HUNTER BLASTED BY ANIMAL LOVERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The news has not surprisingly sparked outrage on social media.
Jon_Wilson74 wrote on : "I love how hunters call themselves conservationists, and say that they kill animals to save them. You cannot make it up.
"The truth is they just enjoy killing things, and are willing to pay a lot of money to do so."
FreedomFan concluded: "People are SICK and more twisted than the beautiful goat’s horns."
Dan-de-mann added: "An American within a gun....nothing is safe."
However, not everybody was upset by the kill.
In keeping with local tradition, the community elders welcomed the hunter and gave him gifts after he bagged his trophy.
Under trophy hunting programme 2018-19, G-B wildlife department auctioned hunting permits for four Astore Markhor, 14 blue sheep and 96 ibex.
They started the bidding at $100,000 for a markhor, $8,000 for a blue sheep and $600 for an ibex, reports the Independent.
Up to 80 per cent of the money raised from the permits would go back to the community in the mountainous region where the goats were hunted, officials said. The rest will go to the local government.