Maybe it was only a coincidence that the helicopter carrying some very wealthy hunters crashed in a remote area of Russia while trying to shoot endangered goats from the comfort of the copter. Seven people died in a helicopter crash in January, including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s personal envoy to parliament and a top regional wildlife protection official. There are only about 200 Argali left in the world!
The Russian Prosecutor-General’s office confirmed it had referred the case to the investigation committee for criminal investigation. Though hunting these animal from a helicopter is illegal. It is a favorite pastime by some wealthy hunters, who are prepared to pay up to $2,000 per hour.
“This has only been revealed because of the air crash,” Vladimir Krever, head of green group WWF’s biosphere program in Russia said. “This is the first case where there has been such an investigation and where the public will know real reasons and results of illegal hunting.”
Four people survived the crash, including the Altai region’s deputy governor although he has since resigned.
Is it the Argali “revenge”?
Excerpts courtesy of wikipedia.org Argali
Excerpts courtesy of UK.Reuters.com “Russia investigates helicopter hunt for rare goats” – James Kilner MOSCOW, Russia. May 5, 2009.