Pakistan’s national animal is Markhor and its race is about to extinct due to the hunting.
The heartless killing of rare national animal of Pakistan continues in Naya Pakistan and a number of foreigner hunters are paying millions of US dollar in order to hunt Markhor. The rare wild goat is found in the upper parts of the Neelum valley, apart from other northern areas including Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral district, Valley Kalash and valley Hunza.
According to the International Organization for Protection of Power and Natural Resources, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Markhor is among those animals that are about to extinct and the number of adult Markhor is less than two thousand and five hundred.
Meaning of Markhor:
This wildanimal has the four-foot long horns and is founded in Gilgit and Koh-Suleman.It likes to eat snakes. The name of Markhor is a little strange as the meaningof “Mar” in Persian is the snake and “Khor” which means“eater”.
Well, it’san animal like goat and cannot eat snakes but its association with snakes ismay be due the similarity of his (curly) screwy horns.
According tothe local folk stories, Markhor kills the snake and chew, and the result ofthis foam like substance comes out from its mouth, which fells down and dry.People find this dry foam and use it in snake bite treatment.
Physical Features of Markhor:
Markhor’sheight ranges from 65 to 115 cm, length 132 to 186 cm and weight 32 to 110 kg. Itscolor is light brown to black at the bottom of the legs. The male markhor hasmore hair on the neck, chest and lower legs as compared to the female.
On the otherhand the female markhor has the reddish brown color of the body and the littlehair on body and chin and does not have hair on neck. Both male and female havescrewy horns, which are separated close to the head while moving towards thetop. The horns of the male can be 160 cm and the horn of the substance up to 25cm. The males have a pungent smell, which surpasses that of the domestic goat.
Habits of Markhor:
Markhor ismountainous animal and can be found on the height of 600 to 3600 meters. It isusually seen early in the morning or in the afternoon. Their diet changes withseason. These eat grass in summer and spring while in winter they eat the leavesof the trees.
Their voices are similar to goat. In winter, male and female are found in open grass fields together, while in summer the males remain in the wilderness and the female are mounted on rocky rocks.
The pairingprocess is done in the winter and the male looks like trying to take a horn ineach other’s horns. Female remain pregnant from 135 to 170 days and as a resultbread one or two (sometimes three) lambs.
Markhor livein the form of herds, which comprises up to 9 members.
Types of MArkhor:
There arethree types of Markhor including Astore Markhoor, Kashmiri Markhor and PirPanjal Markhor.
The populationof Markhor is found in remote areas of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and inDera Ghazi Khan.
According tothe Forest Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, their population is available inthe areas of Mardan and Sheikh Badin. Pakistani parts of the White Koh (Karmand Khyber Agency) have at least 100 Markhors.
The Greater Risk of Markhor’sExtinction:
DuringBritish rule, MArkhor was considered to be the victim of the hunting, because theywere found in difficult paths and mountain region.
Althoughtheir hunting in Afghanistan is illegal, they are traditionally victimized inthe areas of Nuristan and Laghman and are expected to increase in the presentAfghan war era.
They arestill hunting near the Pakistani border in India. In Tajikistan, Uzbekistan,and Turkmenistan, it is also done due to the hunting of Markhor, which is usedin various dysfunctional drugs. Markkhor has also been used to keep in Texas’sprivate hunters.
According tothe International Organization for Protection of Power and Natural Resources, InternationalUnion for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Markhor is among those animals that areabout to extinct. If the proper measuresdo not take to protect them, then this generation can be rare forever. Their total number is between two thousand andfive hundred in the open forest.
Markhor hasgot the honor of being the national animal of Pakistan. Apart from this,Markhor is included in the 72 animals whose photographs are in the specialschedules of the World Organization for Wildlife (WWF) issued in 1976.
Markhor hunting in Pakistan:
In Pakistan a number of foreigners especially the Americans are paying millions of dollars in order to hunt the national animal of the country in hilly areas. According to the Gilgit-Baltistan wildlife department, Bryan Kinsel Harlan, Dianda Christopher Anthony and John Amistoso. They paid more than 100,000 US dollars permit fee for the hunting of this animal in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The brutal killing of rare wildlife animals continues in Naya Pakistan and according to a report so far above 50 endangered species have been killed.
It is important for the local people now to raise voice to protect the animals instead of letting the foreigners to pay and kill them. The killings of rare spices have led to a drastic reduction in its numbers and someday its complete extinction.
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