The Markhor . . the Worlds Greatest Big Game animal!
(Silvertine's Signature Species "Markhor")
By many international hunters the Markhor is has been referred to as the Worlds Greatest Big Game Trophy, as it is considered to be among the most challenging game species to hunt, due to the danger involved in stalking and pursuing them in high, mountainous terrain. According to Arthur Brinckman, in his "The rifle in Cashmere "a man who is a good walker will never wish for any finer sport than markhor shooting".
The Markhor is a large species of wild goat, like the Ibex that is found in north eastern Afganistan and Pakistan. The species in its native habitat has fewer than 2,500 mature individuals which continued to decline. The Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan.
The name is derived from the Persian word mar, meaning snake, and khor, meaning "eater", which is sometimes interpreted to either represent the species' ability to kill snakes, or as a reference to its corkscrewing horns, which are somewhat reminiscent of coiling snakes. According to folklore, Markhor has the ability to kill a snake and eat it. Thereafter while chewing the cud, a foam like substance comes out of its mouth which drops on the ground and dries. This foam like substance is sought after by the local people who believe it is useful in extracting snake poison from snake bitten wounds.
Markhor stand 36 in at the shoulder, and males can weight up to 250lbs. It is the largest among the species in the Ibex family. The coat is of a grizzled, light brown to black colour, and is smooth and short in summer, while growing longer and thicker in winter. The fur of the lower legs is black and white. Markhor males have longer hair on the chin, throat, chest and shanks. Both sexes have tightly curled, corkscrew-like horns which close together at the head, but spread upwards toward the tips. The horns of males can grow up to 64 inches long. They have a pungent smell, which surpasses that of the domestic goat
There are only three species of Markhor: