In the great Himalayan and Karakoram ranges
There lives a brave herbivore
He scales the sheer wooded cliffs
The beautiful, agile Markhor
His name is a hybrid of two words
Mar: the snake, and Khor: the eater
Despite the fierce legend he wields
He’s quite the gentle barnyard bleater
He’s known for his dexterous climbing skills
And is also a fabulous forager
He’ll search for grasses and for leaves
He’ll roam like an adventuring voyager
He looks like an interesting mix
Of both a boy and a girl I’ve heard
Sporting a lovely russet coat
And also a spiffy little beard
He also has tremendous horns
Like five feet long corkscrews
Weapons to keep bullies at bay
And to dig up clumps of grass too
The Markhor is the national animal
Of the south Asian country of Pakistan
She’s quite iconic, a logo classic
Even featuring in puppet shows in Afghanistan
And there we leave this regal Capra*
As he walks with grace, his head held high
Master of all that he surveys
Majestic horns spiralling into the sky.
* The markhor was one of the 72 animals featured on the World Wide Fund for Nature Conservation Coin Collection in 1976.
* Markhor marionettes are used in the Afghan puppet shows known as buz-baz.
* The markhor has also been mentioned in a Pakistani computer-animated film known as Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor.
* The Markhor is present on the logo of the Inter-Services Intelligence, the intelligence agency of Pakistan.
* CAPRA: a genus of mammals consisting of goats, the markhor and ibexes.