Kyrgyzstan: Government-promoted trophy hunting of prey species hampering efforts to boost snow leopard populations in PAs, critics say

BOKONBAYEVO, Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyz folklore is laden with stories that warn its adherents against the over-hunting of animals. In one foreboding tale, Kodzhodzash, the leader of the Ak-Bars tribe, brutally ignores the wish of a female ibex, shooting dead her child and her mate. “May your father cry over you as I cry over my murdered children and for the loss of my kind,” the ibex curses, before luring the hunter to his death.

Despite these admonitions, trophy hunting has become a lucrative industry in Kyrgyzstan, drawing tourists from across the world with its low prices and lax hunting laws.

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