Mongolian Elk Hunting Conditions


Published: August - 2000

Our brief report last month on the official reopening of elk hunting in Mongolia (see page 14) sure generated some feedback. What generated all the comment is our brief quote from booking agent Purka Batmanh of Purka Travel International. Batmanh, you'll recall, took a different tack on Mongolian elk than any other observer we quoted, calling the prospects for success so bleak it is "...irresponsible for agents to be sending elk hunters to Mongolia right now."

The most important feedback we received on this opinion was from a gentleman by the name of Ts. Yansanjav, who identified himself in the fax note he sent us as Vice Chairman of the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Yansanjav says Batmanh has not been in Mongolia for nine years and is thus not in a position to know anything about the current condition of Mongolian elk herds. Moreover, he says Batmanh has "outstanding financial obligations" to various outfitters, travel agencies and individuals in Mongolia, all of whom have submitted these debts to his office for arbitration. "It has been decided that all outfitters and companies in Mongolia should not deal with Mr. Purkah Batmanh until these debts are completely resolved," he writes.

At press time, we called Batmanh repeatedly to get his reaction to these statements, leaving messages on his answering machine as well as with individuals in his home. At press time, no one had gotten back to us.

Clearly, the information provided by Yansanjav raises questions about the validity of the statements Batmanh made last month about Mongolian elk. It also raises important questions about his travel agency that we think need to be answered. Our pages are open to comments by any affected party.

........(continued)

 
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