Baby Sichuan Takins Press Materials

Cupid Hits the Mark – Twice! – at Lincoln Park Zoo

Pair of Sichuan Takin Babies Are Real Sweethearts


(Chicago – February 13, 2013) Lincoln Park Zoo is in love with its newest arrivals – two Sichuan takin babies that were born just one week apart. And as a special Valentine’s Day gift, the public is invited to help name these shaggy sweeties!

“A pair of healthy takin baby boys is way better than candy and roses,” said General Curator Dave Bernier, who serves at the Species Survival Plan (SSP) Coordinator for the Sichuan takin across North American zoos. “It is great to have two youngsters at the same time for the animals’ social development, and we can look forward to some exciting play behavior in the near future.”

The cloven-hoofed kids share a father, six-year-old Quanli, but are the offspring of two different females. First-time mom Mei Li, 5, gave birth on January 31. Jinse, 8, welcomed a calf – baby number two for her - on February 9. The last baby takin to be born at Lincoln Park Zoo was Mei Li herself in 2007.

“At only a few days old, Mei Li’s calf is full of energy and already playfully head-butting his dad,” said Bernier. “The younger calf is still a little more timid, sticking close to mom and finding his feet as he explores the yard.”

Takins are native to the wintery mountains of China, so it is only fitting that their names are in the Mandarin language of their natural habitat. The public can vote for two of the following names on a website poll at . The results of the poll will be announced on the zoo’s Facebook page on February 20.

                                    Yen Li – calming strength

                                    Chen Li – morning strength

                                    Mengyao – superior handsomeness

                                    Ming Hoa – shining elite

                                    Temur Khan – blessed iron ruler

                                    Xing Fu – happy good fortune

The two new takins bring the Lincoln Park Zoo herd to six total individuals. Sichuan takins are relatively rare in zoos; there are only 90 of them living in 17 zoos nationwide.

Mei Li, Jinse, and their soon-to-be-named calves will all be on exhibit at the Antelope & Zebra Area starting on February 13 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.


Media Contacts

Sharon Dewar
(312) 742-2246                       


  Tiffany Ruddle
(312) 742-5791



Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit

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Photos credited to Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo