A US trophy hunter is facing global criticism on social media after he shot a rare snow leopard and published this grinning picture online.
In the image, Hossein Golabchi – also known by the nickname Soudy – stands smiling from ear-to-ear as he stands with the stunning white and black animal draped across his shoulders.
The leopard appears to have been shot at least twice in the rear and blood can be seen seeping down its coat.
Golabchi, originally from Iran, came under fire after the so-called trophy hunting snap circulated online, according to The Mirror.
At the time of writing, more than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for Golabchi to be brought to justice.
The appeal was originally launched by account user Amanda on Care2 – an online community which champions animal rights – on October 23, which was International Snow Leopard Day.
The non-profit organisation, Defenders of Wildlife, have reported there are only an estimated 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards left in the wild, with 600 to 700 being in zoos.
The petition reads:
There’s nowhere in the entire Western Hemisphere (and the rest of the world) that allows ANYONE to go into Central Asia to ‘trophy hunt’ a snow leopard.
It is illegal to own their body parts or their beautiful fur and importing their remains into the United States is a federal offense.
This long-time and prolific trophy hunter of rare cats must be made an example of or these magnificent cats will vanish forever.
Comments on the petition page shared a general consensus – the act was ‘disgraceful’.
Jade Marie L. wrote:
It’s not right, animals don’t deserve to be treated in that way, they should have as much rights as humans. It’s disgraceful how he shot such a beautiful living thing.
While Rita B commented:
No reason to kill endangered animals for so called sport. Just pure evil. Needs to be punished for what he’s done. Put him in with a pack of big cats and see how long he lasts.
It was recently announced grizzly bear trophy hunting will be banned in British Columbia.
There are around 15,000 of these bears living in British Columbia and it’s reported round 250 are killed by trophy hunters each year.
Despite this level of hunting being viewed as sustainable by some, public attitudes towards hunting grizzly bears has changed, and this policy is intended to reflect modern Canadian sensibilities.
BREAKING: BC government will end the Grizzly Bear trophy hunt on November 30th, and halt all Grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest. pic.twitter.com/JVGjwEZwaF
— Scott Cunningham (@CTVNewsScott) August 14, 2017
The story of the snow leopard echoes the public outcry when Cecil the lion was killed by an American dentist, Walter Palmer, while on a trophy hunting holiday.
More recently, news filtered through about how Cecil’s son, Xanda, had been shot dead by big game hunters.
Xanda was killed outside the Hwange National Park in north west Zimbabwe, according to the lion guardians at the national park – Xanda was just over six-years-old and had several young cubs of his own.
Three-quarters of African lion populations are in decline, with only around 20,000 in the wild, they’re now officially classified as ‘vulnerable’.
When are humans going to start caring about the species which may soon become extinct?