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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sichuan Takin Calf Born in Minnesota Zoo

A male Sichuan takin calf was born May 8, 2010 in the Minnesota Zoo. He was such an unexpected arrival to the zoo, he has been named Jingxi, Chinese for "surprise." He is considered to be healthy and has been put on exhibit with his mother and father, and an unrelated takin friend.


Sichuan takin, otherwise known as the Tibetan takin, is a "goat-antelope" who resides in the Eastern Himalayas. They eat a wide variety of vegetation, standing on their hind legs at time to reach leaves from tall trees. They tend to live in herds, especially during warm months. Other than humans, the takin has few predators, because of their horns and large size. Bears and wolves are two of the few animals who would attempt to fight this furry beast.

According to IUCN, the species is considered vulnerable due to its "decline of at least 30% over the last three generations... due to over-hunting and habitat loss." Nature reserves have been created in China and Bhutan to provide safe habitats for the animals. In Bhutan, the takin is their national animal. According to Bhutani mythology, a Lama created the creature out of the bones of a cow and a goat.
via ZooBorns and Kare 11

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