Meet the takin (say “tock-in”). If that name doesn’t sound familiar, don’t worry. Most people have never heard of them, and many can’t guess what kind of animal a takin is even when they see one! Gold-colored takins seem to have the horns of a wildebeest, the nose of a moose, and the body of a bison! But takins are related to sheep and wild goats, and some people think of them as goat-antelopes. Their Asian Passage hillside exhibit has rock outcroppings to scamper up and on. A new female takin calf, born in February 2019, has joined the herd—and she can currently be seen hanging out with her mom, or following older females around the rocky habitat.
In China, both takins and giant pandas are considered to be national treasures. We think they’re pretty special, too!
Did you know? Although takins have no skin glands, their skin secretes an oily, bitter-tasting substance that acts as a natural raincoat. Streaks of this oily stuff can be seen where takins rub up against the rocks of their exhibit.