Markhors look splendid with horns and a beard.
- A markhor is one of nine species of wild goat in the Capra genus and is native to south-western Asia.
- Markhors have the scientific name Capra falconeri, and are from the family Bovidae, the family of cloven-hoofed mammals that are ruminants.
- ‘Markhor’ is believed to come from the Persian words for ‘snake’ and ‘eater’, ‘mar’ and ‘khor’ respectively, due to the idea that it can kill snakes, or the shape of the horns.
- The height of markhors typically ranges from 65 to 115 centimetres (26 to 45 inches) up to the shoulder, and weigh 32 to 110 kilograms (71 to 243 pounds).
- Markhors have long spiral shaped horns and a beard, both of which are larger in the males, and are typically coloured a combination of brown, tan, white, grey and black.
A Male Markhor
Image courtesy of Marie Hale/Flickr
- Markhors live in small herds in mountainous forests, and eat vegetation including twigs, grasses, herbs and leaves.
- Markhors are preyed on by snow leopards, wolves lynxes, eagles, bears and jackals.
- Although hunting markhors is generally an illegal practice, they are often poached and have been prized game for experienced hunters, and due to trophy hunting in the past, as well loss of habit by deforestation, the species is now endangered.
- Markhors have one kid per birth, sometimes two, and they have a life span of 10 to 13 years.
- There are three subspecies of markhors, the Astor, Kabul and Bukharan, and the mammal is the national animal of Pakistan.