An American couple have been slammed for killing two mountain goats considered sacred by locals during a trophy hunt in Turkey.
Ther couple, named in reports as Michael Shaun and Emieblcek Harris reportedly killed the pair of bezoar ibex (Capra aegagrus aegagrus) during a hunt in the south-eastern Turkish province of Adiyaman.
The couple were reportedly granted permission to kill the two goats which are considered sacred in the Alevi faith that the majority of locals adhere to.
Images show the American couple posing with the two ibex, which are known for their long horns and are a popular trophy hunt target.
Harris reportedly killed an ibex with horns measuring 130 centimetres (51 inches) long while her husband killed a specimen with 118-centimetre (46-inch) horns.
The Natural Preservation and National Parks Directorate in Turkey grants seasonal licences for killing goats which are over eight years old, with 30 goats being allowed to be killed this season, which ends on 31 March.
The couple had practised hunting the animals in the nearby Sincik State Hunt facility.
Netizens were quick to criticise the couple for the trophy hunt, with ‘Ozgul Ezgin’ writing: “Shame on you Michael Shaun and Emieblcek Harris. No amount of money can bring back the life of this innocent animal that you killed.
“Shame on you and shame on Nature Conservation and National Parks Branch Manager in Adiyaman who gave you the permission to kill. (sic)”
The branch manager of the Nature Conservation and National Parks Ismail Kozan told reporters that 60 percent of the revenue from hunting tourism was used in the local villages.
Illegally hunting the mountain goats can result in fines of 26,000 TRY (3,272 GBP). The bezoar ibex lives in high-altitude habitats and has a tendency to thrive in inaccessible areas. It is usually hunted with a spot-and-stalk method often over a period of several days.
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