After a trophy hunter killed a rare snow leopard, more than 114,000 people have signed a petition to have the man arrested and brought up on criminal charges. The hunter was pictured with dead rare snow leopard’s body slung around his shoulders.
The viral image is a picture of Hossein ‘Soudy’ Golabchi, a US. resident originally from Iran, smiling as he holds the corpse of the dead snow leopard over his shoulders. The animal was killed in central Asia at some point before 2008.
Now a petition has been started by TERA International, a group with the mission of protecting endangered animals, who feel it is not too late to prosecute Golabchi for killing the a rare snow leopard at a point in time where it was classified as endangered.
Golbachi is the owner of Golmar Construction and Development Co. of Augusta, Georgia, and started hunting in his home country at the age of 16.
The new petition states, “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 offence. This long-time and prolific trophy hunter of rare cats must be made an example of or these magnificent cats will vanish forever.”
Trophy killing of snow leopards is currently illegal in every country they inhabit. Nonetheless, Golbachi wrote about his killing of a snow leopard in a 2008 book Obsessed! Hunting Mountain Game In North America, Asia And Around The World.
Snow leopards are hard to track because of the terrain they live in and their typically reticent behavior, but according to the Snow Leopard Trust, there may only be between 3,920 and 6,390 snow leopards left in the wild.
Meanwhile, hundreds of snow leopards are killed every year according to Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network.
While more than half of those are killed by farmers in retaliation for attacks on livestock, while 20 percent are trapped in snares set for other animals. However, another 20 percent of those snow leopards were reportedly killed specifically for the illegal fur trade.