The Markhor (Capra falconeri), is a goat-like antelope found in sparse woodland in the Western Himalayas. They are common at altitudes of 1650 to 11,500 feet where they eat grass, leaves, and other vegetative matter that they can find. The Markhor is the official National animal of Pakistan. “Markhor” is Persian for “Snake Eater”.
The Markhor stands 55 to 70 inches at the shoulder and weighs from 88 to 220 pounds. Females are tan in color with a white underbelly and a pattern of black and white on the legs. Males have a lighter tan color with the same white underbelly and pattern on the legs, as well as a black face and a large amount of long shaggy white fur on their neck and chest which can grow to knee-length. Both sexes have corkscrew-shaped horns which can grow up to 64 inches long in males, and up to 10 inches in females.
Markhor are active in the early morning and late afternoon. Females gather in herds of up to nine individuals and males are normally solitary. During mating season, males fight each other for the attention of females. These fights involve lunging until the two males’ horns are locked together, and then twisting and pushing until one male falls. Markhor sound much like the domestic goat.