A Wild Toy
In Nov/Dec 2013, I travelled to Tajikistan with John Gioia for the film, Crosshairs Conservation: Can Shooting Animals Protect Wildlife?, now in production. This Kyrgyz boy is the son of the family in charge of taking care of the camp where trophy hunters come and stay for Marco Polo sheep hunts. I couldn't stop filming him playing with these enormous horns that were lying in the valley--probably from a winter kill or wolf predation years ago--and he didn't grow tired of his wild toy for some time. The long, curved horns of the Marco Polo sheep are what draws hunters from around the world to these remote mountains. There was something mesmerizing about this boy--his family employed by the company that sells Marco Polo sheep hunts--so engrossed in the lifeless artifact of this majestic animal.