Capra falconeri

A Markhor stands on a hill in the zoo Hellabrunn and looks into the camera. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Near threatened
  • Weight
    ♀ up to 50 kg, ♂ up to 100 kg
  • Habitat
    Mountainous forests, semi-deserts and steppes

Hunted for trophy and healing

The markhor’s distinctive spiralling horns, which resemble large corkscrews, can grow up to 160 cm in males. The beauty and rarity of the horn makes it a coveted hunting trophy. The markhor horn is also used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for ailments such as headache, fever and rheumatism. The demand generated by this superstition and trophy hunting has significantly decimated the populations of this at-risk wild goat species.

The picture shows a makhor looking head-on into the camera. It has two long, twisted horns and a goatee.

Spectacular climber

The markhor is one of the largest species of wild goat. It is native to southeastern Central Asia where it lives in various climatic and vegetation zones, from the valleys of Afghanistan 600 m above sea level to Western Himalaya up to 3,600 m. Markhors are known for their spectacular climbing ability, not just on steep rocky terrain. They also climb trees in search of nutritious leaves.

In the barren areas of Central Asia, wild goats such as markhors are preyed upon by wolves and snow leopards.