Swiss conservationists have called for the protection of a recently discovered mountain goat with unique all-white fur as they fear it will be shot down by trophy hunters.
The animal was spotted in the Alps in the Swiss canton of Valais by a camera trap set up by the local authorities to detect wolves.
The images show a young goat kid in all-white fur standing behind its brown mother in a snowy Alpine landscape.
Moments later the young chamois, an agile goat-antelope species with short hooked horns, was captured again on camera.
Valais hunting deputy Peter Scheibler said that although he sees five to six chamois with light-coloured fur each year, a completely white one is extraordinary.
He said that the chamois is however not an albino as it does not have red eyes.
Since the discovery, an anonymous hunter has called for people in the region to protect the unique chamois.
Scheibler said: “Legally, such animals are not protected from being shot down.”
According to local media, there are worries in the local community that the newly discovered animal might end up the same way as the last all-white chamois which was discovered in 2012 near Brig at the foot of the Simplon Pass in the same Swiss canton.
Despite calls to save the all-white goat, a hunter ignored a gentlemen’s agreement not to kill the animal and shot it down.
President of the Upper Valais Hunting Association Florian Eggel was one of the people outraged at the time over the killing.
Eggel said: “It is not a trophy. One must keep such a special chamois alive.”
He said that anyone shooting the newly discovered white chamois will find himself ostracised from the community.
Eggel said when the hunter who killed the previous white chamois then sat down at a hunter’s meeting, the other attendees stood up from the table and left him alone.
For now, the young chamois kid does not have to fear for its life as the hunting season will only open in autumn.