Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Turkmenian Markhor

Capra falconeri

Markhor are a unique species of mountain goat that inhabit the steep arid hillsides of the Himalayan Mountains in Central Asia. They are remarkable for their striking spiral horns that grow up to 5 feet long in males and up to 2 feet in females.

Range & Habitat

Markhor are native to the mountains, cliffs and grassy foothills in Asia from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.

Conservation Status: Near Threatened

Near Threatened due to habitat loss and poaching for their beautiful horns.

Diet

In the Wild: In the warmer months they eat grasses; in the colder months they eat leaves, twigs and shrubs. At the Zoo: Hay, grain, tree leaves and twigs.

Life Span

In the Wild: 12-13 years; In Human Care: up to 20 years.

Fun Facts about the Turkmenian Markhor

  • Turkmenian markhor have wide hooves that stabilize them when climbing or walking on steep, uneven ground. Markhor will even use their strong legs and wide hooves to climb up trees to obtain food!
  • Both male and female Turkmenian markhor have curved, spiraling horns, but the male’s horns are much bigger -- up to 5 feet long – and he uses them to fight other males when competing for females, digging in the ground, removing bark from trees – and even to scratch an itch!
  • Turkmenian markhor are herbivores and spend about 12-14 hours a day grazing.

Sources

40 Fun Facts About the Markhor (Pakistan's National Animal). (2019, March 27). Retrieved May 18, 2020, from https://greenglobaltravel.com/facts-about-the-markhor-goat-national-animal-of-pakistan/

Markhor Goat - Key Facts, Information & Habitat. (2015, December 15). Retrieved May 18, 2020, from https://animalcorner.org/animals/markhor/

Michel, S., & Michel, T. (2014, September 20). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved May 18, 2020, from https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/3787/97218336

Turkmenian Markhor: Utah's Hogle Zoo. (2020). Retrieved May 18, 2020, from https://www.hoglezoo.org/meet_our_animals/animal_finder/turkmenian_markhor/

Updated October 30, 2020