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Baby Takin Is King of the Hill at San Diego Zoo

Baby Takin is king of the hill at San Diego Zoo

A two-week-old Sichuan Takin climbs to the highest point in his exhibit on Wednesday. The kid, who was born on Dec. 28, 2010, was named Wûshi, which means 50 in Mandarin, because he is the 50th Takin to call the San Diego Zoo home. The first Sichuan Takin born outside of China was born at the San Diego Zoo in 1989. When Wûshi is not climbing rocks and tree stumps, he can be found head butting just about anything in his enclosure–including his grandmother, Bea.

Baby Takin San Diego Zoo giving a side smile

Baby Takin up close and personal at San Diego ZooPhoto credits: San Diego Zoo

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Baby Takin San Diego Zoo giving a side smile

Over the next few weeks, Wûshi’s horns will start to come through. His coat will also get lighter in color, longer and shaggier. Young takins are much darker than adults to hide them from predators in the forest.Takins, which are considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), live in the bamboo forests of China and the eastern Himalayan Mountains of Asia. They are skilled climbers and migrate to forage for food. While Takin might look like muskox they are actually more closely related to sheep,  The main cause of their declining numbers in the wild is loss of habitat due to farming, logging and mining operations. China has given the takin full protection under its laws, which is the same protection given to giant pandas.  

Baby Takin is king of the a smaller hill at San Diego ZooCheck out Wûshi's hooves in the picture above!