Stone Zoo recently announced the birth of a Markhor. The female kid was born on July 16 to parents, Maya and Tyrion. She recently had her first health check and was a healthy 8.8 pounds.
The new family can be seen within the Himalayan Highlands exhibit. Stone Zoo is now home to ten Markhor, including the new kid.
“Maya is very attentive to the kid, who has been nursing well and is strong and active. As with any new birth, we are closely monitoring the mother and baby,” said Dr. Alex Becket, Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian in the department of Animal Health and Conservation Medicine.
Zoo New England participates in the Markhor Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. This birth is the result of a recommended breeding.
Markhors (Capra falconeri) are the largest species of wild goat. They are native to the Himalayan Mountains, and their range includes northern India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. They can typically be found living around or above the tree line.
Markhor have broad hooves and striking spiral horns that can grow to three feet long in mature males. The long corkscrew horns that males develop as they mature are much sought after by trophy hunters.
The Markhor is currently classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List.
In the wild, this species faces a number of threats including hunting as well as competition for food. These animals are also competing against domestic livestock for food and water resources in their native habitat.
Zoo New England has supported a project in Pakistan that works with local communities to sustainably manage Markhor and other wildlife.
* "Zoo New England manages Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA. Both are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Zoo New England's mission is to inspire people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations by creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research, and education."