Sichuan takin in exhibit

Sichuan Takin

Scientific Name

Budorcas taxicolor tibetana

Range

China

Diet

Leaves, bark, and other vegetation
Sichuan takin in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: VULNERABLE IUCN Conservation Status: VULNERABLE

About This Animal

Sichuan takins are related to goats and sheep. They have an ox-like build with stout front limbs, hairy muzzles, and a distinctive, bulbous nose with large sinus cavities. They weight up to 750 pounds and are between 5.5–7.5 feet long, standing 3.5–4.5 feet tall at the shoulder.

Members of this takin species grow a secondary coat in the winter, which gets shed in summer. Their skin secretes an oily substance that waterproofs their fur. They are ruminants, so they regurgitate cud and chew it to get as much energy as possible from the plant fibers they eat.

These mammals are found in forests, taiga and grasslands between 4,000–14,000 feet in elevation. They are social and can live in herds of up to 35 animals. Herds are mostly made up of females; males only join to breed. In the spring, they gather to migrate up to the tree line, then travel to forested valleys as winter draws near. Mating takes place in July and August, with a single calf usually born at a time. Young takin can stand after just 30 minutes and are weaned after only two months.

All takin subspecies are decreasing in number as a result of overhunting, habitat loss, and tourism disturbances. Although they are protected legally, more research is needed to help them survive in the long term.

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